How the Ravens Offensive Line Got Back on Track Against Von Miller, Broncos


For the last 10 days, Baltimore's offensive line was constantly reminded about the impending matchup with Denver's game-changing pass rusher Von Miller.

The group didn't have its best showing last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, and it faced question after question about how it would hold up against Miller.

The Ravens said all week that they'd have a plan for Miller, and the group executed that plan just about perfectly in Sunday's 27-14 victory over the Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium. The offensive line kept quarterback Joe Flacco upright, opened running lanes in the red-zone and perhaps most importantly, didn't allow Miller to the wreck the game.

"We knew we were going to have to contain him and with the gameplan, we went out, we executed, and it obviously worked out," right tackle James Hurst said. "We knew we weren't up to par last week, and we wanted to come out and have a different outcome and know that we can play better than we did. We're excited about that."

Miller, who came into the game with four sacks and a pair of forced fumbles through the first two games, finished with no sacks and the same number of tackles (two) as offsides penalties.

The Ravens took a varied approach to slowing Miller. He moves all over the defensive front, but spent much of his day lined up across from Hurst. Baltimore used a combination of double teams, chips blocks from the running backs and tight ends, and quick passes from Flacco.

Head Coach John Harbaugh also said mixing in the run game and protection changes from quarterback Joe Flacco helped. After the game, Harbaugh sought out Miller to shake his hand because "you know, you build your game plan around him …"

"I thought we did a great job of mixing it up," Harbaugh said. "You can't block this defense or Von Miller the standard way. You have to do it in ways that are unconventional and keep his head on a swivel a little bit. I thought we did a good job of that – run and pass."

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley pointed to improved technique when asked about the key in limiting Denver's front.

"We definitely had a few chips here and there, but we definitely went back to the lab and worked out our pass sets," Stanley said. "We're just happy to be back on track."

With Miller neutralized, the Ravens offense responded by putting up three touchdowns and kept alive the streak of finding the end zone on 12-striaght red-zone trips. Flacco had time to throw – he was sacked just twice and hit only four times – and he finished the day completing 25-of-40 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown.

"We got a lot of tough guys up front," Flacco said. "When you play a team like we did last week, and you play a team like we did this week, and those guys hold up the way they did, it's impressive.

"We had a plan for [Miller], obviously, but at the end of the day it's really up to those guys up front one-on-one being able to get the job done."

The performance from the offensive line was in line with the way the group played in the opener against the Buffalo Bills. They held up well against an imposing front, and the group showed they have the ability to play at a very high level.

"It feels good to get back on track and get a win," Stanley said. "But we're not satisfied with it. We're just looking to get better from here."

Check out all the action from the Ravens' Week 3 game against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium.

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