Final

Ravens 10

(4-9, 0-7 away)

Broncos 12

(10-3, 7-0 home)

4:15 PM ET, December 11, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
BAL 3 0 0 710
DEN 3 3 6 012

Top Performers

Passing: K. Boller (BAL) - 251 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: T. Bell (DEN) - 16 CAR, 63 YDS

Receiving: M. Clayton (BAL) - 7 REC, 105 YDS, 1 TD

Flat Broncos manage narrow win vs. hapless Ravens

DENVER (AP) -- The game tape probably belongs in the trash. Still, a win is a win, and in this case, it left the Denver Broncos tantalizingly close to their first division title in seven years.

It was over when ...
After the Ravens scored with 1:52 remaining to pull within two points, Ashley Lelie got a first down and the Broncos ran down the clock to seal the win. An argument could be made, however, that it was really over earlier in the fourth quarter, when Baltimore went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and was shut down.
Game ball goes to ...
Denver's D, which shut the Ravens' offense down and forced several turnovers as the Broncos increased their AFC West lead to two games with an ugly win.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen The Broncos struggled against the Ravens because of Baltimore's defensive philosophies. The Ravens do a very good job of using their hands on the defensive line to stop the Broncos' offensive linemen from being dominant. That allows the Ravens' linebackers to roam free and get penetration into the backfield, stunting the Broncos' ability to run.
-- Eric Allen

Kyle Johnson made a tiptoe catch for a touchdown, Champ Bailey set a franchise record with an interception in his fifth straight game and Al Wilson made a big hit on the goal line Sunday to lift the Broncos to a 12-10 victory over the bumbling Baltimore Ravens.

"There are games you have to win ugly sometimes," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.

Denver improved to 10-3 and, after the game ended, both Kansas City and San Diego lost to give the Broncos a two-game lead in the AFC West with three to go.

The end of the Chiefs game, a 31-28 loss to Dallas, was shown on the scoreboard, and the couple thousand fans still filing out of the stadium cheered wildly when the Cowboys scored the late go-ahead touchdown. It was one of the most exciting moments of an otherwise flat day at Invesco Field.

The Broncos haven't won the AFC West since 1998, the year they started 13-0 en route to their second straight Super Bowl title.

"It's big, but it's not the title we want," defensive lineman Trevor Pryce said of the AFC West.

To win the whole thing, they'll have to get much better than they were against Baltimore (4-9).

Jake Plummer threw for 236 yards and the touchdown to Johnson. Tatum Bell was held to 63 yards and Mike Anderson had only 21.

A better team would have taken advantage of Denver on this day, but the Ravens certainly don't qualify. This was the sixth time in 13 games they've been held to 10 points or less.

Most of their problems Sunday revolved around -- who else? -- struggling quarterback Kyle Boller, along with a questionable decision by coach Brian Billick.

Boller threw for 251 yards but turned it over three times -- including two awfully thrown interceptions with the Ravens in scoring range.

Despite all that, Baltimore trailed by only two after Mark Clayton caught a 39-yard touchdown with 1:52 left.

After the kickoff, Denver got a first down on Ashley Lelie's end-around to seal the game.

The difference turned out to be Billick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1 earlier in the fourth quarter. On that play, Wilson knocked Chester Taylor back for a 4-yard loss to keep the score at 12-3.

"Being down on the 1-yard line, it was too much to pass up the chance in our circumstances," Billick said. "To kick the field goal and then have to go the distance to score a touchdown wasn't going to go."

Of course, that was hardly Baltimore's only missed opportunity.

The Ravens made three trips inside the Denver 10. The first came after B.J. Sams returned the opening kickoff 87 yards. Three plays, one penalty and minus-1 yard later, the Ravens got their field goal.

The second trip, with the Ravens trailing 12-3 in the third, was followed immediately by a holding call AND then a floater from Boller, who was trying to feather one in to Todd Heap but instead got picked by Bailey. It was the eighth interception of the season for the Denver cornerback and it broke Tyrone Braxton's record, set in 1996, for interceptions in consecutive games.

"The red zone has been our nightmare," Heap said.

With the score tied at 3, Baltimore also missed a good scoring chance late in the first half when Boller fell after taking the snap at the Denver 24 but stood up, backpedaled and threw an ill-advised lob that was intercepted by Nick Ferguson.

Denver's only touchdown was a 7-yard pass in the third quarter from Plummer to Johnson, who fought off Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister and made a nice catch in the front corner of the end zone, barely keeping both feet in for his sixth score of the season.

Normally, Johnson makes up some crazy end-zone dance to celebrate his scores. Not this time.

"I knew this game was not close to over and it wasn't," Johnson said.

As if to prove Johnson right, Jason Elam came out and clanked the extra point off the right upright, only the third miss of his 13-year career and a fitting monument to this less-than-brilliant performance by the Broncos.

Nevertheless, they weren't apologizing for the win.

"We are going to fight, and we are not going to give up," Wilson said. "It's not always going to be pretty, and in this league it won't be all the time."

Game notes


Broncos offensive tackle Dwayne Carswell, severely hurt in a car crash in October, was on the sideline in street clothes. ... Ravens running back Jamal Lewis, who hurt his hand late in the week, was on the active roster but did not play.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Baltimore
Denver
1st Downs2017
3rd down efficiency
6-138-16
4th down efficiency
0-10-1
Total Yards323318
Yards per play5.04.7
Total Drives30
Passing251222
Comp-Att
23-4019-33
Yards per pass
6.36.7
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-02-14
Rushing7296
Rushing Attempts
2332
Yards per rush
3.13.0
Penalties3-204-31
Turnovers41
Fumbles lost
21
Interceptions thrown
20
Possession28:0631:54

Passing Leaders

BALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Boller23/392516.4122-0
Clayton0/100.0000-0
DENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Plummer19/332367.2102-14

Rushing Leaders

BALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor20593.0014
Clayton11010.0010
DENCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bell16633.9018
Anderson8212.606

Receiving Leaders

BALRECYDSAVGTDLG
Clayton710515.0139
Heap56513.0022
DENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Smith56412.8021
Lelie24221.0024

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERBALDEN
FG2:01Matt Stover 29 Yd
Drive: 4 plays, -1 yds, 2:01
30
FG6:16Jason Elam 47 Yd
Drive: 10 plays, 51 yds, 4:15
33
SECOND QUARTERBALDEN
FG15:00Jason Elam 48 Yd
Drive: 7 plays, 50 yds, :48
36
THIRD QUARTERBALDEN
TD8:52Kyle Johnson 7 Yd Pass From Jake Plummer (Pat Failed)
Drive: 8 plays, 42 yds, 3:46
312
FOURTH QUARTERBALDEN
TD13:08Mark Clayton 39 Yd Pass From Kyle Boller (Matt Stover Kick)
Drive: 8 plays, 93 yds, 2:19
1012