ENGLEWOOD • Everyone figured the Denver Broncos were building themselves in the image of the Patriots. The Ravens are a more unlikely model, but they’re just the Broncos’ type.


Broncos coach Josh McDaniels showed plenty of respect for the Ravens, this week’s opponent, calling them tough and physical. He pointed out that the Broncos are trying to install the same mantra and when he sees the Ravens on film, he wants his team to get to that level.


“Our group is new, and we are trying to play that way,” McDaniels said. “I think they’ve played that way for a while. This is a team that has had a lot of success, has a lot of great football players, great organization, great coaching staff. They have done it for a lot longer than we have in terms of us talking about it as much with the new group.”


The Ravens have won 10 games in a season five times this decade, including 11 with an AFC Championship Game appearance last season. Baltimore won the Super Bowl in 2000.


Baltimore has long been known for running the ball and playing stellar defense. The Ravens have finished in the top 10 in yards allowed nine of the past 10 seasons. The Broncos, who rank second in total defense this year, hope to make a statement Sunday that they are approaching that echelon.


“They’re physical, man, very physical,” Broncos linebacker Andra Davis said. “That’s the key, if we can match their physicality and prepare better than them, it gives us a chance.”