Admittedly, this is gonna be a weird edition of the Denver Broncos stock report.

The Broncos lost the game, and they did so in heartbreaking fashion, and yet, it was one of the best Broncos games of the season. The defense was truly elite, as it held the Baltimore Ravens under one point per drive, and the offense wasn’t any worse than it usually was.

Denver never trailed until the final minute, and they did so against a quality Baltimore team on the road. They’re also coming off their worst performance of the season — an embarrassing blowout loss to the bottom-feeding Carolina Panthers.

This was a bounce-back game. Unfortunately, the bar is just so low that the Broncos can bounce back, and still lose in heartbreaking fashion.

With that in mind, while there will be plenty of analysis focusing on the negatives from Sunday’s game, this stock report is going to skew more positive than most, with a ton of ‘stock up’ entries. So, with that said, let’s get into it.

Stock Up for the Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich (80) runs after tthcatch during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Dec 4, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;Denver Broncos tight end Greg Dulcich (80) runs after tthcatch during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Simmons

What a game from Justin Simmons.

It feels like Simmons has been somewhat of an afterthought for Broncos Country this season, as he started the year injured, Patrick Surtain II seemingly emerged as the best player on the roster, and Simmons wasn’t generating quite as many takeaways as normal.

However, this week, Simmons quickly returned to the forefront of everyone’s mind.

He was all over the field on Sunday, and as a result, generated three takeaway opportunities.

His first, was a diving interception that set the Broncos up in scoring position. Although the offense only gained eight yards following the interception, they still walked away with three points, and that’s purely thanks to Simmons and Brandon McManus.

His second takeaway chance also impacted the scoreboard, as it came with the Ravens driving inside the Broncos’ 30-yard line. With Justin Tucker employed as Baltimore’s kicker, that’s an easy three points, unless Simmons forces that takeaway.

The fact points were so hard to come by in this one only amplifies the seismic importance of those plays.

Finally, on the last Ravens drive of the game, Simmons laid a perfect hit, jarring the ball away from the offensive player. Unfortunately, the ball just barely rolled out of bounds, but a luckier bounce would’ve won the Broncos the game.

If the Broncos got such a bounce, Simmons would’ve practically won the game for them singlehandedly.

Greg Dulcich

There have been very few positive developments for the Denver Broncos offense this season.

So few, in fact, that outside of Jerry Jeudy taking a modest step away from his ‘bust’ label, the only one that comes to mind is Greg Dulcich’s arrival as an offensive difference maker.

Now, he might not look the part of the hulking athletes that have recently dominated the position. He’s not an athletic nightmare, like Rob Gronkowski, or Travis Kelce, or even Kyle Pitts, but his masterful understanding of space and how to manipulate it, paired with his velvety soft hands, has made him an extremely promising weapon.

In the first half, he was responsible for half of the passing game’s production. On targets to Dulcich, Wilson was 5-for-6 for 55 yards in the first two quarters, and was 5-for-7 for 57 yards on all other passing attempts.

He ultimately finished the game with six receptions for 85 yards.

Dulcich has been tremendously productive so far and is currently on pace to finish the season with 547 yards and 43 receptions. That would rank as the 25th-best yardage production from a rookie tight end, and the 19th-best reception production from a tight end. On a per-game basis, those ranks improve to eighth in yards among rookie tight ends, and 10th in receptions.

Dulcich is getting his name on those leaderboards despite missing nearly all of the offseason’s training period, missing the first five games of the season, and playing in arguably the worst offense since the 2000 Cleveland Browns.

That’s remarkable.

No rookie tight end in NFL history has tallied more yards in 12 games in NFL history. That’s something to build around, at least.

Josey Jewell & Alex Singleton

Against the Ravens on Sunday, the Denver Broncos’ two inside linebackers, Josey Jewell and Alex Singleton, played like men possessed.

They combined for 34 (with them each tallying 17) of Denver’s 79 total tackles, which is an insane level of production to receive from just two players. All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith finished the game with 11 tackles, for the sake of comparison.

Singleton and Jewell made plays in coverage, as pass-rushers, and, of course, as run defenders.

On the final defensive drive for the Denver Broncos, Singleton had a foolish helmet-to-helmet contact penalty on an unnecessary tackle effort, which kept Baltimore alive

The Broncos’ defense returned to form today, and Jewell and Singleton were the top reasons — outside of Simmons — as to why.

Brandon McManus

Entering this game, Brandon McManus was the second-worst starting kicker in the league, according to Football Outsiders, and he earned that title.

But against the Baltimore Ravens, he was nearly perfect. He drilled two 50-yard field goals and split the uprights from 41 yards out.

That was all the points the Broncos could muster on the day. He was also the only positive element of Denver’s special teams on the day.

Ultimately, the Broncos lost as McManus came up short on a 62-yard try, but he was the most impressive kicker on a day where he was facing Justin Tucker, so that’s something.

Jerry Jeudy

The Denver Broncos’ offense missed Jerry Jeudy dearly over the past two weeks, and that was made clear in a hurry, against the Ravens on Sunday.

Jeudy was Wilson’s go-to receiver outside of Dulcich, and without him, it’s scary to think about what the Broncos’ wide receivers would’ve produced on the day.

Courtland Sutton exited the game early and was only targeted on one ugly pass from Russ, leaving the team with Jeudy, Kendall Hinton and Montrell Washington. Hinton and Washington combined for two targets, garnering a total of 11 yards.

Jeudy came down with a reception every single time he was targeted and finished the day with 65 yards on four receptions.

Also, his 40-yard reception, at the end of the half, made Denver’s second scoring drive possible, and was the team’s longest play of the day.

Entire Denver Broncos defense

Although they weren’t bad, the Denver Broncos’ defensive performances against the Las Vegas Raiders and Carolina Panthers fell well short of the standard the team had set earlier on in the season.

Against the Raiders, the Broncos allowed more than two points per drive, which is relatively pedestrian, and also the worst scoring rate Denver had allowed since their Week 4 loss to Vegas.

Against the Panthers and Sam Darnold, it was sadly more of the same. They once again allowed more than two points per drive, and they did so against a pretty dismal Carolina attack.

Today, they held a talented Ravens offense to fewer than one point per drive. That’s representative of dramatic improvement. You could attribute that to Lamar Jackson’s early exit if you wanted, but one only needs to look at the rest of Tyler Huntley’s career to know he’s a more-than-capable NFL quarterback.

The other improvement came from the run defense, which held the Baltimore Ravens’ second-ranked rushing offense (per DVOA) to just 103 rushing yards. That’s Baltimore’s lowest total since Week 1.

If the Broncos were even competent on offense, they would’ve won today.

Stock Down for the Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) is congratulated by placeholder Corliss Waitman (17) following his first quarter field goal against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Dec 4, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) is congratulated by placeholder Corliss Waitman (17) following his first quarter field goal against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos special teams

Brandon McManus won’t get any of the criticism here. He had an amazing game.

However, the rest of the special teams was dominated by the Baltimore Ravens.

Let’s start with the punting game.

Corliss Waitman averaged 41.1 yards per punt, while the worst season-long average is 42.1. His longest punt of the day went 46 yards. If Waitman averaged 46 yards per punt, he’d rank 24th among NFL punters. Waitman pinned Baltimore inside their own 20 on two of his seven attempts, good for a rate of 28.6%, which would rank 28th, out of 32 punters with at least 20 punts on the season.

So, not punting it far, and not punting it precisely.

Montrell Washington averaged 6.3 yards per punt return, which would rank 52nd, among the 71 season-long averages of the players to have returned punts this season. If you’re going to invest in a pure kick returner, they cant be performing at a 27th-percentile level. That’s an issue.

The kick returns weren’t much better, as Washington averaged just 13 yards per, over his three tries. On the season, there is only one player with at least three kick returns, who is averaging less than 13 yards per return.

Overall, Washington was unable to give the Denver Broncos a starting field position better than the 20-yard line, and he only got to the 20 once. He never got past the 20. He had eight return opportunities, including three kickoffs.

Denver Broncos’ rushing attack

It’s hard to imagine the Broncos’ rushing attack getting any worse, but today, it did.

That’s fairly incredible considering the room actually added talent this week, in the form of Mike Boone returning from injury.

Nonetheless, the Denver Broncos were able to generate a mere 88 yards on the ground, despite running the ball 28 times. Making matters worse, 17 of those 88 yards came on a single Russell Wilson scramble. If you isolate designed runs, the Broncos totaled just 67 yards on 26 carries. That’s 2.58 yards per carry.

Generally speaking, if a running back is averaging under four yards per carry, their roster spot is in jeopardy.

With Wilson being mid-at-best in this stage of his career, the Broncos have to get more in the run game.