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Breakdown of how six Broncos penalties caused up to 38 points

Here are the six critical penalties that either helped the Ravens score or took scoring opportunities away from the Broncos – to a potentially total value of a whopping 38 points:
SEPTEMBER 23: Head coach Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos reacts in the first half of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens won 27-14. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE – Not only was Vance Joseph not exaggerating when he said penalties cost the Broncos 20 points, he greatly underestimated the damage.

The Broncos had 13 penalties for 120 yards. That’s the bad news. Here’s where it gets worse: Six of the penalties impacted up to 38 worth of points. And that’s not even including the penalty that got the Broncos’ most exciting playmaker, rookie Phillip Lindsay, ejected from the game in the first half.

The Broncos only lost by 13 points – 27-14 to the Baltimore Ravens. So when the Broncos said afterward they committed too many penalties to win, they couldn’t have fully grasped the extent.

Here are the six critical penalties that either helped the Ravens score or took scoring opportunities away from the Broncos – to a potentially total value of a whopping 38 points:

***After quickly going up 7-0, the Broncos gave up a long kickoff return to Tim White, who then drew a questionable, 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty from Isaac Yiadom, who had been minding his own business on the sideline.

The Ravens started their offensive series at the Broncos’ 48 from where they needed just five plays to score the tying touchdown.

Vance Joseph can justly state the Yiadom penalty led to 7 points.

***The most devastating call was the block-in-the-back penalty during Chris Harris Jr.’s 58-yard touchdown on a blocked field goal return. The call was made against the Broncos’ No. 77, which is Billy Turner, who wasn’t on the field.

The official meant to call it on Domata Peko Jr., who nudged Baltimore’s No. 77, Bradley Bozeman.

The Broncos got the ball at the Baltimore 49, but they wound up punting. There is a no-doubt-about-it: that penalty cost the Broncos 7 points and arguably 14 points total with the Yiadom penalty.

***Lindsay not only was ejected late in the second quarter, he was assessed a 15-yard penalty for fighting. Lindsay had just got warmed up, too, running for 8 and 7 yards on back-to-back carries just before his disqualification.

Who knows how many points Lindsay is worth? He was the Broncos’ best offensive player through their first two games. We won’t even count that penalty on the Broncos’ wasted point total.

***The most underrated, key penalty of the game was when Denver defensive end Derek Wolfe was flagged for offside on Baltimore’s first possession of the second half. The Broncos had just stopped the Ravens on third-and-4 with an incompletion. The 5-yard penalty gave Baltimore a first down and 11 plays later, it scored a touchdown to make it 27-14.

Joseph has every right to say this 5-yard penalty was worth 7 points, lifting the wasted total to 21 points.

***Midway through the third quarter, the Broncos improbably had a 12-play drive that ended with a punt.

The drive was set back by holding penalties against, first, left tackle Garett Bolles, then right guard Connor McGovern and finally -- the most damaging -- left guard Ron Leary was called for unnecessary roughness. The 15-yard penalty pushed the ball back on fourth down from the Ravens’ 27-yard line – where Brandon McManus would have had a 45-yard field goal attempt – to the 42, where Marquette King was brought in for a coffin corner punt.

Call the Leary penalty worth 3 points, or 24 points total wasted.

***With 9:25 left in the fourth quarter, the Broncos had second-and-goal at the 5. A holding penalty on Bolles made it second-and-goal at the 15. The distance pretty much makes it a passing down and quarterback Case Keenum was intercepted.

It can be argued Bolles’ penalty cost the Broncos’ 7 points, or up to 31 points total.

***Later in the quarter, the Broncos had fourth-and-1 at the Ravens’ 6. The Broncos were penalized 5 yards for having 12 men in the huddle. That left a much less manageable fourth-and-6 situation and an incompletion ended the drive. Another 7 points, or 38 points total.

Take away six penalties and the Broncos play pretty well.

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