Welcome to Quarter Calls, DHF’s quarter-by-quarter breakdown of each Denver Broncos game. Instead of a live game thread, Quarter Calls is a quick-hit summary of the big story of each quarter. It can be a general mood or theme, play, penalty, injury, whatever.
If you prefer real time analysis and commentary, follow Denver Horse Force on Twitter. As always, I’ll be tweeting throughout the game.
Pregame: Denver Broncos inactives: Lance Ball, Bubba Caldwell, Caleb Hanie, Chris Kuper, Tracy Porter, Sealver Siliga, and Julius Thomas
Baltimore Ravens inactives: Ed Dickson, Dannell Ellerbe, Ramon Harewood, Jameel McClain, Bernard Pollard, Deonte Thompson, and Marshal Yanda
(11:40 a.m.) How the Broncos are only up by three points is beyond me.
Seriously, the Denver defense has looked amazing, already forcing one Joe Flacco fumble in addition to series after series of stalled drives.
So how is it the Broncos have only mustered a field goal? The offense has benefited from excellent field position and are facing a Ravens defense decimated by injuries.
One thing is for sure; depleted or not, Baltimore boasts the league’s best red zone defense. The Ravens somehow find a way to ratchet things up a notch when the opponent is driving.
I have liked Peyton Manning throwing downfield. I’ll like those play calls even better once Denver actually connects on one. Attempts are one thing. Completions are another.
Best play of the quarter honors go to Knowhon Moreno for his hurdling prowess. What makes it even sweeter is that he cleared Ed Reed.
(12:22 p.m.) Thank you, Chris Harris, for making the play of the game.
How huge was his 98-yard interception return for a touchdown? Aside from being the longest in franchise history for the regular season, Harris’ play was a huge point swing.
The Ravens’ offense, which had struggled for most of the first half, suddenly assembled a solid drive, and were just yards away from making a 10-0 game a 10-7 game in the half’s closing seconds. Instead, because of Harris, the Broncos are now leading 17-0.
So firing Cam Cameron has paid dividends for the Ravens so far, no? Actually, no, not at all. Jim Caldwell seems to be a nice guy, but does he really strike anyone as a significant upgrade?
(1:19 p.m.) Total domination.
The Broncos are showing why they are the superior team. The offensive scored two touchdowns, while the defense continues to wreak all sorts of havoc on Flacco’s offense. Perhaps surprisingly, the Broncos have yet to register a sack, but the effective pass rush has disrupted the quarterback all game long.
(2:06 p.m.) With the game out of hand, there wasn’t much of interest in the 4th quarter…
Other than the Denver Broncos earning their ninth-straight win of the 2012 season, a longest active win streak in the league.
It took until late in the 4th quarter, but Denver finally got its first sack of the game, courtesy rookie DT Derek Wolfe. Robert Ayers and Elvis Dumervil also registered back-to-back sacks in the game’s final two plays. The offense took a few shots downfield, but mainly was impressive in its ability to kill clock through a sustained running game. A few lapses in concentration allowed the Ravens two touchdowns, but it hardly mattered as the Broncos wrapped this one up midway through the third quarter.
The Broncos head home with their first victory against the Ravens in Baltimore. Denver also is finished with road games this season, going 6-2. The Broncos conclude the regular season against the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs.
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