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It was 31-3 in the fourth quarter before Flacco threw touchdown passes of 31 and 61 yards to tight end Dennis Pitta.

“We couldn’t get anything going until late,” coach John Harbaugh said.

Baltimore has lost three straight — including two in a row at home for the first time since December 2007.

Despite the defeat, the Ravens qualified for the playoffs for a fifth straight season when Pittsburgh lost to Dallas on Sunday night. That gave the Ravens a wild-card berth, but they hope to enter the postseason as division champions.

Baltimore still leads the AFC North, but its lead has shrunk to one game with two to play.

“We’re a 9-5 football team and we feel like we’re 0-14 right now,” Flacco said.

Caldwell’s debut was a resounding flop. Flacco went 20 for 40 for 254 yards, lost a fumble and threw an interception. Ray Rice ran for 38 yards on 12 carries and the Ravens produced a meager 56 yards rushing.

Baltimore’s previous two defeats were by three points apiece. This one wasn’t even close, and the stadium was near empty in the middle of the fourth quarter.

“As a player, I am embarrassed for our city,” safety Ed Reed said.

Denver, on the other hand, appears poised to reach the postseason with confidence and momentum. The AFC West champions haven’t lost since Oct. 7, at New England. The Broncos, who can still capture the top seed in the conference, finish with home games against Cleveland and Kansas City.

Baltimore’s first offensive series under Caldwell lasted three plays and ended badly. Flacco fumbled on a third-and-1 plunge and the Broncos recovered at the Denver 47, which led to a 27-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

In the first quarter, Baltimore totaled 21 yards on 12 plays, punted three times and lost a fumble.

Denver went up 10-0 when Jacob Hester ran in from the 1 to cap an 11-play, 78-yard drive. Baltimore answered with three more unproductive plays before punting. On their fifth drive, the Ravens finally got their initial first down — on a 14-yard run by Bernard Pierce with eight minutes left in the half.

Pierce eventually left the game with a concussion, as did wide receiver Torrey Smith, who hit his head after attempting to make a leaping catch near the sideline in the third quarter.

Denver pulled away with two third-quarter touchdowns. Manning threw a 51-yard scoring pass to Eric Decker, and after the Ravens went three-and-out, Knowshon Moreno ended a 39-yard drive with a 6-yard run to make it 31-3.

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