DENVER -- While the Broncos' defense dominated during Sunday's 19-13 win over the Ravens, their offense struggled to generate consistent momentum, although it did mount four scoring drives and delivered a crucial, clock-chewing march when it was needed most.
Quarterback Peyton Manning finished the game with 24 completions in 40 attempts for 175 yards, throwing one interception 56 seconds into the second half that Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith returned 24 yards for a touchdown.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak's offenses typically strive for a balanced attack, but the Broncos didn't find that until the fourth quarter, when the team finally got the ground game going on a 17-play, 81-yard drive that chewed up 10 minutes and 56 seconds. Manning capitalized on the attention given to the rushing attack by completing all five of his passes during the series.
But until that impressive fourth-quarter march, the Broncos struggled on the ground, gaining just 27 yards on 12 carries in the first three quarters.
"I'll just tell you that Baltimore's got a really good defense," Manning said. "They were pretty stout all day against the run like they have been against a lot of teams."
The Broncos' defense was key in the first half of play against the Ravens.
Baltimore was also stout against the pass, and helped prevent Manning from downfield connections, limiting the Broncos' longest gain to 18 yards.
"Every play may have a deep threat on that play with a short throw as well," Manning said. "I had a couple of chances to Emmanuel Sanders. I just missed him by a little bit.
"It's not a team that you want to sit back there and test how long you can hold the ball against. I think the smart way to play against those guys is to try to get the ball out of your hands quickly and take some shots. We had some chances for some other shots down the field but weren't able to quite get everything take care of and couldn't really get the throw."
On the other side of the ball, Stewart's interception with 28 seconds remaining in the Broncos' end zone ended Baltimore's hopes of a last-gasp comeback.
"Our defense played outstanding," Manning said. "Talib made a good play, obviously, to kind of negate the turnover that our offense had. So that was huge. Of course, (the defense made) a great stop at the end.
"Everybody did their part. (It was) just a good defensive performance. We've just got to find a way to punch it into the end zone."