2:18 AM EDT, September 6, 2013
Ron Fritz, sports editor: The Ravens need to put this game in the rear-view mirror, but the devastation might be tough to ignore. The Broncos, especially Peyton Manning, exposed every weakness the Ravens have. Everyone thought the defense got better — they were wrong. The Ravens looked bad in every phase of the game.
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens couldn't catch and they couldn't cover. That's a terrible combination.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: Where do I start? John Harbaugh's missed challenge sparked a huge momentum swing. The tight ends were atrocious. And Peyton Manning smelled blood in the second half. Lots of work to do at The Castle over the next nine days.
Matt Vensel, reporter/blogger: The Ravens put up a good fight and were giving America an interesting NFL kickoff game, but the non-challenge on that Wes Welker non-catch on third down looms large in this one. After the Broncos scored on that drive, it quickly became a rout. That's not how you want to start your season, but take a deep breath and relax. There are 15 games left for the Ravens to play this season, and they just got the toughest one out of the way.
Childs Walker, reporter: This was as ugly a performance as the Ravens have delivered in the John Harbaugh era. They weren't physically dominated; they simply destroyed their own chances. From rookie Brynden Trawick injuring Jacoby Jones on a special teams gaffe to Harbaugh failing to challenge a drop that would've ended the Broncos' go-ahead drive, it was an all-systems failure. The good news is they're unlikely to make this many glaring mistakes in another game this season. The bad news is they leave Denver with serious questions about their receivers and secondary.
Aaron Wilson, reporter: It was a total debacle for the Ravens as they ran into a human buzzsaw named Peyton Manning. The Ravens' secondary looked disorganized and lost as they allowed seven touchdown passes, and they will need to upgrade their communication and reactions in a major way to prevent similar occurrences. The blocked punt allowed in the third quarter caused the momentum to snowball out of control for the Broncos. The Ravens' tight ends, Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark, combined for several drops, including one potential touchdown pass flubbed by Clark. Dickson was targeted five times but caught only one pass for 13 yards with an unofficial four dropped passes.
There aren't many positive takeaways from this one, but here are a few: Undrafted rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown caught his first NFL touchdown. And outside linebackers Terrell Suggs (six tackles, one sack) and Elvis Dumervil (one sack), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (four tackles, one for a loss), defensive tackle Chris Canty (one sack, three quarterback hits) and cornerback Lardarius Webb all had encouraging performances.
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