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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) looks for a receiver as Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, second from right, guards Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

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Three of Paul Klee's observations from Baltimore and the Ravens' 27-14 win against the Broncos:

1. Yep, they’re still Vance Joseph’s Broncos. Who else can draw a flag for too many men in the huddle... on 4th-and-1? Make it 1-8 on the road since Joseph took over as Broncos coach. His Broncos were undisciplined (Derek Wolfe’s offsides penalty on 3rd-and-5), uncomfortable (three sacks of Case Keenum in the first half) and unfortunate (Phillip Lindsay was ejected for “throwing a punch” — more on that later). When you think about it, the Broncos getting whacked on the road looked a lot like last season.

2. With roughly 2 minutes left in the first half, Broncos tailback Phillip Lindsay was ejected for throwing a punch. The incident happened after a strip-sack fumble by Terrell Suggs on Case Keenum — and the call was trash. A look at the replay shows at least two Ravens had piled onto Lindsay at the edge of the pile. His lone options were to push back or get buried under a mass of flesh. But that's what the Ravens do to younger players. They push their buttons and teach 'em a lesson. This time the Broncos lost their leading rusher and the offense was never the same.

3. Story of the game: the Ravens trust their quarterback, and the Broncos don't. At the end of the third quarter, the Broncos had more penalty yards (90) than passing yards (85). One of the few passing attempts that traveled more than 10 yards downfield — a long, lovely completion to Demaryius Thomas — was called back because of a holding call on Garett Bolles. Later in the drive, Ron Leary was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct — pushing the Broncos out of field position. After flashing a diverse and fun offense in the preseason and in Week 1 against the Seahawks, the Broncos are calling plays as if they don’t trust their quarterback to make good decisions. I guess three interceptions in the opener will do that. This was a comedy of errors — with the 3-0 Chiefs up next, on Monday Night Football.

(Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at paul.klee@gazette.com or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.)

Sports columnist

Denver sports columnist for The Gazette

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