Ravens Defense in Top 10, but Struggling to Get Off Field Late

Suggs v Giants

I sit here and scratch my head trying to find a rhyme or reason as to what is going on defensively for the Ravens.

Prior to the season, the talk of Raven Nation was how much better on paper this defense was going to be with free agent additions and the promotions from within.

Entering Week 10, it is clear statistically that this defense is, by far, better than they were in 2012. They boast the 10-ranked overall defense, rank second in red zone defense and fourth on third downs. Yet, they still give up the big plays.

While the Ravens offense hasn’t exactly helped the defense much it is fair to say that the defense gets tired late in games. This despite the fact that, as bad as the offense has been, the Ravens are right in the middle of the pack in time of possession per game (30:03, 19th in the NFL). Last year, the team found ways to get off the field late in games and give the offense a chance. That’s something that they have not been able to do thus far this year. Their inability to give the offense one last possession has had a big hand in the fact that the team has lost four games by 14 total points.

“Sometimes, we’re just a little bit tentative,” Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said yesterday. “I think that’s a little bit of our problem at the end of the game, and we’ve talked about it a lot this week. You’ve just got to go for it. You’ve got to feel good enough about yourself that you don’t worry about making a mistake.”

With the Bengals coming to town this Sunday I am hoping they did more than just talk about it.

It was reported yesterday that Terrell Suggs missed practice with a foot injury, while Daryl Smith and Jimmy Smith both were absent again for the second straight day. On Friday, however, all three were back on the practice field.

Going up against a high powered Cincinnati offense featuring Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, this defense will certainly need all hands on deck.

One thing that could really help the defense would be to play with a lead. If the offense can start fast and go up by a couple scores, guys like Suggs and Elvis Dumervil could really pin their ears back and go after the quarterback. As the Ravens have not held a lead in any game since Week 5 against Miami, their bookend pass rushers have been mostly negated.

If there ever was a week for the offense to start fast and furious this is the one! They are playing at home and the fact is that Dalton can be rattled. Wouldn’t it be nice to get an early lead and force the other team to play catch-up for once?

So for those fans going to the game on Sunday: be as loud as you can! A loud home crowd of a 3-5 football team can help their squad out as much as one of an 8-0 team.

 

Follow me on Twitter @Sportguyrsr 

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About Brian Bower

Brian Bower
Brian Bower is avid football fan who was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Brian has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past two years for FootballNewsNow.com. His work has been featured on NFL.com and ESPN blogs. He is also a regular guest...more

5 Raves on “Ravens Defense in Top 10, but Struggling to Get Off Field Late

  1. DarthSizzle55 on said:

    How about they are tired by the end of the game since the offense can’t run to chew clock and sustain drives. That would be my guess.

  2. Ashton VSG on said:

    The problem is this: while they a decent defense, they are also a SOFT defense. They don’t intimidate anyone. Last year, they were mediocre, but not soft. Remember those AFC Championship game hits on Welker and Ridley by Pollard? That was intimidation and it completely rattled the Patriots in 2nd half.

  3. Anonymous on said:

    I have no complaints about the defense. If they keep the other team under 20, the offense needs to find a way to get some points and win the game.

  4. john on said:

    Harbs and the front office doomed this team for years to come. We got the SB win but will pay a price for it for a long long time ….. unless ………..

  5. Dan on said:

    Brian
    How can anyone including the coaching staff of the Ravens can blame last weeks loss and the Pittsburg loss on the defense. I would like anyone who says this, to try playing as long as they are playing every quarter because the Ravens Offense can’t move the ball. I don’t have to have coaching skills to see what is in front of my face. The offense needs to step up and step up now or play the practice squad the rest of the year just to evaluate their talent to see who we should keep and who we should send packing. IMO I think there is annomosity between players and Joe Flacco because of his paycheck. You kinda see this amongst other teams out there who pays too much for players yet others aren’t getting squat. Maybe we should start looking at the obvious and get rid of Juan to start with, and if it is the other players who has problems then bring in player who want to play for the Ravens. This offensive line is the worst I’ve seen and things are changing for the worst. This Squad has lost every record we have been holding for years and are soon getting ready to lose the worst which not making the playoffs this year. This would be the last record to lose. The reason I said Squad is the Ravens are deffinately not playing like a TEAM to be called a team. Tired of John week after week saying this will change yet we see the same every week. Why can’t he say that Juan’s changes aren’t working

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