Scouting report for the Ravens-Broncos game Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium

RAVENS PASSING GAME: Quarterback Joe Flacco endured a rough first half against the Cincinnati Bengals, repeatedly misfiring in the face of pressure from all sides. He ended up throwing for 376 yards as the Ravens rallied to within five before losing 34-23, but his performance was a significant step back from Week 1. Wide receiver John Brown was a bright spot with four catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. But the task won’t get easier against a fierce Denver pass rush led by Von Miller.

BRONCOS PASSING GAME: Quarterback Case Keenum has thrown three touchdown passes against four interceptions and averaged a modest 7.45 yards an attempt in his first two games for the Broncos. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has easily been his top target with 14 catches on 15 targets for 231 yards. The Broncos hope Keenum, who missed practice Wednesday with knee soreness, will help them improve on their dismal passing performance from last season.

EDGE: Even

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RAVENS RUNNING GAME: The Ravens fell behind quickly in Cincinnati and did not use their top runner, Alex Collins, nearly as much as planned. Collins produced 90 combined running and receiving yards on a meager 12 touches, and he needs to be more central to the offense. The team’s run blocking has not been up to par in two games this season, with guards Marshal Yanda and Alex Lewis and left tackle Ronnie Stanley all grading below their usual levels.

BRONCOS RUNNING GAME: Rookie running back Phillip Lindsay has been an early standout for Denver, gaining 107 yards in a 20-19 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday and averaging 6.1 yards a carry this season. Fellow rookie Royce Freeman has also delivered solid production, averaging 4.3 yards a carry. They’ve been aided by solid work from the entire Denver offensive line.

EDGE: Broncos

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RAVENS RUSH DEFENSE: After shutting down LeSean McCoy in Week 1, the Ravens fared less well against Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard, who combined for 111 yards on 27 carries. They lost one of their best run defenders, linebacker C.J. Mosley, to a bone bruise. On the plus side, defensive tackle Michael Pierce has been dominant playing beside Brandon Williams inside, and defensive end Chris Wormley has also made the most of increased playing time. If Mosley and Pierce, who missed Wednesday’s practice with a foot injury, are unavailable, the Ravens will suffer here.

BRONCOS RUSH DEFENSE: Denver held Marshawn Lynch to 65 yards on 18 carries in their 20-19 win over the Raiders. The Broncos’ run defense is one of the best in the league according to advanced analytics, with Miller, safety Justin Simmons, tackle Shelby Harris and linebacker Todd Davis all grading well in that area.

EDGE: Broncos

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RAVENS PASS DEFENSE: The Ravens didn’t drop Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton at all after making six sacks in their season opener. Dalton beat them by throwing quickly and picking on matchups between slot corner Tavon Young and larger receivers. Mosley’s absence also hurt the Ravens in coverage. Cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr have played well on the outside and safeties Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson have been solid as well.

BRONCOS PASS DEFENSE: For all their talent on the edge, led by the incomparable Miller, the Broncos have defended the pass less effectively than the run in 2018. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr completed 29 of 32 passes and took just one sack against them Sunday. But Carr gets rid of the ball quickly, which Flacco sometimes struggles to do. Denver’s secondary is less formidable than its front seven, with cornerback Chris Harris Jr. rating as the team’s best cover man.

EDGE: Ravens

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RAVENS SPECIAL TEAMS: Rookie Janarion Grant could be one more muffed kick from losing his spot on the Ravens, even though he’s continued to deliver dynamic returns. The Ravens have also given up more return yards than usual this season, though their kickoff coverage improved from Week 1 to Week 2. Kicker Justin Tucker has made 22 field goals in a row after hitting a 55-yarder against the Bengals.

BRONCOS SPECIAL TEAMS: Returner Adam Jones has produced little in two games. After a disappointing 2017 season in which he made seven of 12 field goals from 40 yards or longer, kicker Brandon McManus has been perfect in 2018. Punter Marquette King has one of the most powerful legs in the NFL.

EDGE: Ravens

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RAVENS INTANGIBLES: The Ravens received a dose of reality in Cincinnati after their blowout win to open the season. But with a road-heavy schedule ahead, they know they must bank a home win against the Broncos. They’ll also benefit from the extra three days they had to prepare for a team traveling from the western half of the country.

BRONCOS INTANGIBLES: With a stable quarterback situation and a defense invigorated by No. 5 overall pick Bradley Chubb, the Broncos are off to a 2-0 start. But they struggled to put away the Raiders at home and now they’re making a long trip to a difficult road venue.

EDGE: Ravens

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PREDICTION: The Broncos defense, led by Miller, will present another difficult challenge for a vulnerable Ravens offensive line. And the Baltimore defense could be diminished by the absence of its quarterback in Mosley. But the Broncos lack the offensive playmakers to put the Ravens in a deep hole the way Cincinnati did. And the Ravens will do enough to win at home, 27-20.

childs.walker@baltsun.com

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