Twelve weeks into the season, the lack of pressure that the Baltimore Ravens’ defense had applied to opposing offenses was starting to become a huge concern. However, after a game against the San Diego Chargers where the Ravens’ defense came up with six sacks, Ravens’ fans no longer have anything to complain about.
The Ravens came into the game with 19 sacks on the season, a low number compared to previous years where Baltimore would average about 2.5 sacks per game. The injury to Terrell Suggs this offseason is a big reason for the low number this season, but it would appear that the Ravens are really starting to pick things up on defense as they enter the second half of the season.
Of the six sacks for the Ravens on the day, Arthur Jones had two while Paul Kruger, Courtney Upshaw, Dannell Ellerbe, and Terrell Suggs each had one. QB Phillip Rivers was feeling the pressure all day and the quickness of the Ravens defense was too much for tackles Jeromey Clary and Michael Harris.
The Ravens have been blitzing all season in an attempt to get some sacks, but have just failed to get to the quarterback. Scheme wasn’t to blame as it was injuries that seemed to cripple the Ravens defense overall. The Ravens have been living by the “next man up” philosophy all season and it has worked as backups such as Arthur Jones, Corey Graham, and Brendon Ayanbadejo have really stepped up to help offset the injuries.
This game is a prime example of how pressure can really hurt a dynamic offense such as the Chargers. The Chargers were averaging 22 points per game but the Ravens defense was able to hold them to 13, despite not causing a single turnover.