Here’s what the Baltimore Sun sports staff had to say immediately after the Ravens’ 23-7 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 4 on Sunday afternoon at Empower Field at Mile High:
Jonas Shaffer, reporter: A week after scrapping and clawing their way to a victory over a winless Lions team, the Ravens put it in cruise control for a win over the undefeated Broncos. Go figure. Lamar Jackson was the best player on the field, and the Ravens had the best defense, too. After all they’ve been through, it’s hard to complain about a 3-1 record.
Mike Preston, columnist: By the end of the first quarter, the Ravens had imposed their will. Once the Ravens shut down the Broncos on first and second down, this game was virtually over. The Ravens kept up the heat with constant blitzes on defense and crossing patterns on offense.
Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens rode a punishing defensive performance and enough big throws from Lamar Jackson to an important road win. Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser was the star, with two sacks and several quarterback hits. Not to be outdone, rookie Odafe Oweh picked up his second sack and made the hit that knocked Broncos starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater out of the game. The Ravens could not get their running game untracked against a defense that was loaded up to stop it, but they did just enough with play-action passes to build a lead Denver could not challenge.
There’s still plenty to worry about for the Ravens. They had Andre Smith starting at left tackle for much of the second half. They have not sorted out their running back situation. Middle linebacker Patrick Queen has not taken his expected step forward in Year 2. But they’re 3-1 despite all the crippling injuries and wild game endings that marked the first month of the season. With a long stretch of home games ahead, now is the time for them to build a cushion in their playoff chase.
Ryan McFadden, reporter: Lamar Jackson continues to quiet the silly narrative about him not being able to throw the ball. With the Ravens’ rushing attack nonexistent for most of the game, Jackson made plays with his arm to keep the Ravens ahead. The pass rush was a force, delivering four sacks and eight quarterback hits. Rookie outside linebacker Odafe Oweh continues to prove he is one of the best defenders in the 2021 draft class.
C.J. Doon, editor: It wasn’t pretty at times, with the Ravens’ rushing attack limited until the final scoring drive and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva exiting with a knee injury. But the Ravens flexed their muscles with a hard-hitting defensive performance — knocking Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater out of the game with a concussion — and Lamar Jackson continued to deliver through the air with his second career 300-yard passing game. If Jackson and the defense continue to play like this, the Ravens are the Super Bowl contenders we all envisioned before the season.
Tim Schwartz, editor: Without Teddy Bridgewater for the second half, the Broncos looked lost offensively. They didn’t look much better with Bridgewater in there either. The Ravens have feasted on mediocre quarterback play for as long as they’ve been in Baltimore, and Sunday was no different. Outside linebacker Odafe Oweh is getting better every week and looks like an AFC Rookie of the Year candidate. Denver’s run defense was stellar, but no matter, as quarterback Lamar Jackson — back injury and all — threw for more than 300 yards for the second time in his career, thanks to the sticky hands of Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. The only thing missing was Justin Tucker kicking a record-long field goal in the thin air. Remember when everyone thought the Ravens were in for a long year after a Week 1 loss to the still undefeated Raiders in Las Vegas? They’ve now won three straight with the 1-3 Colts riding into town for a Monday night prime-time showdown.