RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Suggs has run into a wall against Whitworth

Street Talk RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Suggs has run into a wall against Whitworth

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OWINGS MILLS – Terrell Suggs is having a banner season, harassing quarterbacks and running past offensive tackles.

The Baltimore Ravens’ Pro Bowl outside linebacker leads the defense with six sacks, also recording two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Suggs’ success hasn’t replicated that success in the past, though, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Suggs has only 1 ½ sacks against the Bengals since 2005 after posting five sacks against them in his first two NFL seasons.

What’s changed?

It’s the hulking presence of Bengals left offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth that has halted Suggs’ charge.

The 6-foot-7, 335-pound former LSU standout has given up only one sack in 14 AFC North games since shifting to left tackle, shutting out Pittsburgh Steelers star outside linebacker James Harrison.

“He’s a really solid tackle,” Suggs said. “We’ve always had battles against each other. I know he hasn’t given up a sack to Harrison for his whole career, so that says a lot. He’s a really big guy.”

Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has only been sacked 12 times, third fewest in the league.

And the Ravens rank third in the NFL with 27 sacks, including 16 sacks at home this season.

The Ravens have fallen off a bit lately, though.

“I’ve got to send them more, I’ve got to call more,” defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said. “That’s not on them, that falls on my shoulders. We’ve got to be more aggressive, and we’ve got to come after them.

“They’re keeping more guys in to protect. They’re running the ball a little bit more. I’ve got to a better job of putting our guys in position to get after the quarterback. So I’ve got to go after him.”

FLACCO, JONES FINED: It was a costly loss for the Ravens, literally.

Quarterback Joe Flacco and defensive tackle Arthur Jones were fined $7,500 apiece for infractions committed during a 22-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, according to AFC spokesman Corry Rush.

Flacco was punished for an illegal horse-collar tackle of Seattle linebacker David Hawthorne in the third quarter, tackling him from behind to prevent a touchdown after an interception.

And Jones was punished for unnecessary roughness following an exchange with the Seahawks after a Billy Cundiff field goal where he was “blocking an opponent low, specifically on a special teams play.”

Meanwhile, Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor was fined $20,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Chancellor gave himself a concussion.

EVANS QUESTIONABLE: Veteran wide receiver Lee Evans is questionable with a left ankle injury after practicing on a limited basis all week.

Evans has taken part in six consecutive practices dating back to last week, but doesn’t appear ready to make his return after missing the past seven games.

“I think he’s getting closer, yes,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s definitely getting close. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”

The Ravens ruled out Jones (concussion) and rookie running back Anthony Allen (hamstring).

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) is questionable.

Ellerbe has participated fully for two days in a row.

Meanwhile, Bengals rookie wide receiver A.J. Green (hyperextended right knee) is doubtful and could be out Sunday instead of challenging the Ravens’ secondary along with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton.

The Bengals have other targets, though, in tight end Jermaine Gresham and wide receivers Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell.

“They’ve got enough guys,” Pagano said. “I charted the last four times we’ve played them. It’s 33 rushes a game. He’s going to pound the ball, they’re going to take their shots, they’re going to throw two, three shots down the field. Get the ball out of that kid’s hand quick, get it to their playmakers.

“They’ve got a tight end that can stretch the field. He’s a big target in the red zone. Simpson’s playing really good, Caldwell’s playing really good. Whether he plays or not, we’ve got our hands full across the board.”

Tight end Donald Lee (foot) is doubtful.

Defensive end Carlos Dunlap (hamstring) is questionable.

The following starters are probable: defensive end Frostee Rucker (knee), cornerback Nate Clements (knee), strong safety Chris Crocker (knee) and center Kyle Cook (foot).

Also listed as probable: cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones (groin), free safety Gibril Wilson (ankle), running back Brian Leonard (knee), outside linebacker Dontay Moch (illness), wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (hamstring) and defensive end Jonathan Fanene (illness).

FINAL WORD: Retired kicker Matt Stover is being inducted into the Ravens’ Ring of Honor at halftime Sunday.

“Matt’s one of the special guys and really good for the community,” Harbaugh said. “Going forward, this is the beginning for Matt in a lot of ways. The things that he’s going to do in business and the things that he’s going to do for this community, for Baltimore, for all of us, is just going to be neat to watch.”


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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson


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