DENVER - On paper, Thursday goes down as a 49-27 Broncos win, the final product of an all-around dominant second half for Denver.
But there were two plays in particular early in that second half that swung the momentum of what had previously been a tight game.
One was a blocked punt that set up a short Broncos touchdown that pushed Denver's lead to 28-17.
But even before that, there was Wes Welker's controversial third-down conversion that extended the Broncos' opening drive of the half and helped put Denver in position for a go-ahead touchdown after the Ravens opened the half leading 17-14.
The frustrating part for Baltimore is that replays clearly showed the ball hitting the ground on Welker's catch and that the result of the play likely would have been overturned had the Ravens challenged.
But they didn't. And instead of the Broncos being forced to punt, their drive was extended, and Peyton Manning threw a touchdown pass three plays later to give Denver a lead it would never relinquish.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked after the game whether he thought about challenging the Welker catch.
"This is the first I've heard of it," Harbaugh said. "That's something you have to see. It'd be nice if NBC would show it, but we didn't have a chance to look at it."
Would the result of that play being overturned have prevented Baltimore from losing the game? Probably not.
But the fact that such a key catch wasn't really a catch surely adds to the frustration of what was an already frustrating first game of the season.