Ravens grab lead after Welker blunder, Broncos tie it back up

AP

Wes Welker’s first game with the Broncos has looked a lot like his old games with the Patriots on offense.

Welker’s caught four passes and picked up first downs on throws from Peyton Manning. The Broncos’ decision to use him in another role backfired, though.

Welker was sent out to return a punt after the Broncos defense stopped the Ravens and tried to field it at his own five-yard line, but he muffed the catch and the Ravens recovered the ball on the doorstep of the end zone. Ray Rice ran the ball in on the next play to give the Ravens a 14-7 lead. Welker, who returned 25 punts in New England last season, broke an oft-referenced unwritten rule of football by fielding the punt at that spot on the field and provided some illustration of why it’s referenced so often.

Given the injury suffered by Jacoby Jones on an earlier punt, it may not be long before punts go unreturned for the rest of the night in Denver.

It was the second touchdown to come one play after a turnover in the game. The Broncos tied the score on a Manning pass to Julius Thomas after Joe Flacco was intercepted by Chris Harris. The same connection hooked up for another touchdown on the next drive, retying the score and setting up a game that looks pretty similar to the shootout in the playoffs last season.