Denver Broncos: Behind Enemy Lines with Ebony Bird

Sep 26, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Fans get pumped up before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Ravens at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Fans get pumped up before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Baltimore Ravens at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4. We interview Justin Fried of Ebony Bird to talk about the game.

The Denver Broncos head into their Week 4 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens with a record of 3-0. Despite this game being at home, this will be the team’s biggest challenge yet in the 2021 season.

There are certain things the Denver Broncos will need to do to have the best chance of winning the game. I recently talked about several keys to a victory over the Ravens. Check it out here.

We continue the Behind Enemy Lines series with Justin Fried, who I previously interviewed for the game against the New York Jets. You can also check out the interview I did with Black & Teal here.

Here are Justin’s thoughts on the Ravens and the matchup.

It’s early in the 2021 season, but what is one difference in this year’s Ravens team compared to last season?

EB: The Ravens definitely seem to be airing it out a bit more this year as opposed to 2020, and I expect that to continue with first-round rookie Rashod Bateman returning in the near future. The injuries at the running back position have forced Lamar Jackson to rely more on his arm, and it’s worked.

Jackson would have thrown for close to 400 yards last week if not for three long touchdown passes that were dropped by Marquise Brown. Another quick difference is the center position. Bradley Bozeman has solidified a position that was a major weakness last season. He deserves a lot of credit.

It would not surprise me if Lamar Jackson’s scrambling is the biggest problem the Denver Broncos will have this week. What are some other things the team should be focused on stopping?

EB: Jackson is just as dangerous in the passing game as he is on the ground, and he proved that again last week. The Broncos have a very talented secondary, certainly more talented than the Lions last week, but Jackson might still be able to make some plays in the air. Look for Brown to have a bounce-back game after an abysmal day last week.

The Ravens have suffered their fair share of injuries—especially to the running back position. Tell Broncos Country what they could expect from Ty’Son Williams.

EB: Ty’Son Williams has easily been the Ravens’ most efficient running back through three weeks. Unfortunately, the coaching staff doesn’t seem to trust him nearly as much as the fan base does which has allowed Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman to eat into his touches. If Williams gets enough carries, he could have another big week. But if the Ravens lean on Murray and Freeman again, the running game could suffer.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has surprised everybody with his play so far this season. Which area of the Ravens defense should the Broncos be afraid of when he drops back to pass?

EB: Despite a few notable injuries, the Ravens still have one of the most talented secondaries in the NFL. Teddy Bridgewater is playing at a very high level right now, but even he might struggle against this Ravens secondary, especially with K.J. Hamler now done for the year. Marlon Humphrey remains a top-five cornerback in the NFL and won’t be an easy matchup. Injuries have taken a toll on the unit and they could be without safety DeShon Elliott on Sunday, but the Broncos should not take these defensive backs lightly.

How do you see this matchup playing out? What are your keys to the game for the Ravens?

EB: The Broncos have looked excellent through their first three weeks, but this is their first real test. The Ravens are a good team that likely would have blown out the Lions last week had it not been for Marquise Brown drops and a few other untimely mistakes. Even with their injuries (Denver is plenty banged up as well), I think the Ravens pull this one out. If they could find success in the air against a talented Broncos secondary, then they’ll win this game. Jackson just has to play as well as he did last week. Let’s call it a 34-31 Ravens victory.

We thank Justin Fried for taking the time once again to talk about the Denver Broncos and their opponents. Kickoff between the Broncos and Ravens is at 4:25 ET on Sunday.