Defensive coordinator Dean Pees stuck with an aggressive approach, blitzing defenders and using unusual alignments. He lined up safeties James Ihedigbo and Omar Brown as edge pass rushers lined up outside the tackles and shifted outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw to nose guard.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh acknowledged that injured linebacker Jameel McClain's roster spot could eventually go to Ray Lewis, who could be activated this week from injured reserve with a designation to return.
The Ravens' first goal every season is to make it to the playoffs so in that sense, Sunday wasn't as big of a disaster as it once appeared. But the manner in which it happened leaves plenty of questions about whether the Ravens will be able to accomplish their other goals, which go far beyond just qualifying for the postseason.
Even though Peyton Manning arrived at M&T Bank Stadium in new colors with a new organization, Sunday's game sure felt familiar to the Baltimore Ravens. With Manning pointing at their defenders before the snap, then picking them apart once the ball was in his hands, the Denver Broncos rolled to a 34-17 win.
When Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning goes under center Sunday, starts barking out calls and then takes one final glance across the line of scrimmage, what he sees will bear very little resemblance to any Ravens defense that he's ever faced.
A few weeks ago, it seemed little more than an intriguing late-season test against a fellow divisional leader. But after a tumultuous seven days for the Ravens, Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos sets up as a key scene in the uncertain plot of the 2012 season.
Right guard Marshal Yanda and safety Bernard Pollard did not practice all week, and they were among seven Ravens listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium.
Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday.
The Ravens will play without Jameel McClain on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. The team's starting middle linebacker has a significant neck injury that he sustained against the Washington Redskins, coach John Harbaugh said today.
The Broncos are 0-for-Baltimore since the Browns became the Ravens, but this time they bring Peyton Manning along for the ride. And a team that has built what was one of the league's most stout defenses season after season is in a fairly big club when it comes to Manning.
In his last day on the job before being fired Monday morning, Cam Cameron called one of his more effective games even though mounting behind-the-scenes discord led to his dismissal. With Vonta Leach plowing defenders and Ray Rice dancing upfield, the Ravens used its running game to pile up a season-high 186 yards.
Lewis and Suggs have played together for nine seasons, but they've yet to be on the field at the same time this season. Suggs' surprisingly quick return in Week 7 from offseason Achilles' surgery coincided with the first of at least seven games Lewis will miss with a torn right triceps.