Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb was thrilled to be back on a field once again at Denver last week, but his return was somewhat spoiled by the barrage of touchdown passes thrown by Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
Webb and the rest of the Ravens secondary say that with Cleveland coming up this weekend, they have already moved past that Broncos game, in which Manning tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a 49-27 Denver win.
Webb on Wednesday said the Broncos game was "kind of an embarrassment. Raven football, we don’t play that way. ... It doesn’t matter where we’re at or [who] the quarterback is. We’re better than that.
To be sure, there was plenty of blame to go around. Cornerback Corey Graham had all sorts of trouble covering Broncos receiver Wes Welker. Safety Michael Huff had trouble tackling. Jimmy Smith got fooled badly. The safeties struggled to contain Broncos tight end Julius Thomas down the middle of the field.
"Peyton Manning had his offense going. He was in the zone," Webb said. "But in that time, somebody had to step up and make a play and stop his drives, and nobody stepped up and made a play when we needed a play."
Webb, in his first regular-season game since tearing his ACL last October, played 65 snaps and was encouraged that the surgically-repaired knee held up well throughout the game. Webb finished with one tackle and broke up one pass.
"“It got the butterflies out of my stomach when I got my hand on the ball," Webb said. "Other than that, it just got back to playing football."
Webb and others attributed the problems at Denver to poor tackling, missed assignments and communication breakdowns. Facing a future Hall of Fame quarterback with an arsenal of passing weapons surely made the task that much harder.
But the Ravens say they have learned from their mistakes against Denver, have put that game behind them and are focused on the Browns.
"We can't let one game beat us twice," Huff said. "We're all professionals. ... Obviously we wanted to win that game, but we can't let that one game beat us when we play Cleveland this week."
Added Ihedigbo: "The mistakes that were made are easily correctable, and they have been corrected. We're focused on putting together a great game plan this week and playing Ravens defense."