Some of the younger members of the Ravens' defense learned a tough lesson in Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Broncos -- a veteran quarterback will take whatever you give him.
Peyton Manning threw for only 201 yards in this game, his lowest total of the year. But Manning remained patient and hit on a number of short- and medium-range passes, enough to keep the Broncos with the ball for over 38 minutes, a huge edge over the Ravens.
The reason Manning was able to do that is the Ravens simply couldn't get enough pressure on him. The Ravens had to know that getting to the veteran would be tough since Denver now is tied for third in the entire NFL with fewest sacks allowed (21). Teams simply can't get to Manning that often, and in this game the Ravens did get sacks from Albert McClellan and Pernell McPhee but that was all.
That let Manning stay in the pocket for long stretches and look to find a receiver. And he usually did. The Ravens slowed him for much of the first half, holding Denver to 10 points on offense in the first two quarters. But a bunch of bad things happened at once midway through the game and suddenly the Broncos were up by 28.
“I think the snowball effect happened in this game," Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger said. "We had a couple of plays go bad offensively, we had a couple of plays go bad defensively and it just started going the wrong way real quick and we just had a tough time responding to it.”
The Ravens did get some pressure on Manning, but there's not much he hasn't seen, and the veteran was able to work his way out of trouble and take care of business. That's the way it's usually been for Manning against the Ravens, regardless of which team he's playing with.