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Failure to challenge Welker catch looms large for Ravens

For 30 minutes, the Ravens’ new-look defense held-up well against Peyton Manning. However, the momentum of the game changed on the Denver Broncos’ first drive of the third quarter when they scored a touchdown that should have never happened.

On third and 9 from the Denver 21, Manning threw to Wes Welker who went to the ground seemingly to make a 10-yard reception. Replays, however, showed that the ball actually hit the ground but word of that never got down to the Ravens' sideline and head coach John Harbaugh.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Harbaugh said after the game. “That’s something you have to see. It would be nice if NBC would show it, but we didn’t have a chance to look at it.”

Manning, as he did for most of the night, quickly got his offense up to the line of scrimmage to run another play. That turned into a 34-yard reception to Demaryius Thomas, putting the ball into Ravens’ territory.

Two plays later, Manning hit Andre Caldwell for a 28-yard touchdown, giving the Broncos a 21-17 lead that they would never relinquished.

The drive, which should have been stopped with the incompletion to Welker, started a stretch where the Broncos would score touchdowns on three straight possessions, turning a three-point halftime deficit into a 35-17 lead.

The Broncos won the game, 47-29, so it would be foolish to pin the loss on a failed challenge and one touchdown. But that drive certainly started the onslaught for the Broncos who hung more points on the Ravens than any team ever has.

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