Despite the loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week Six, there were plenty of positives to take away defensively for the Baltimore Ravens.
In particular, the consistent stellar play of outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil can’t go unnoticed, as he and fellow linebacker Terrell Suggs have asserted themselves as a dominant 1-2 punch.
In Week Five in Miami, it was Suggs who stole the show with a three-sack performance.
This week, it was Dumervil’s turn.
Here’s a look at some key plays from “Doom.”
Q1, 3rd and 2, 4:08 remaining
Dumervil hasn’t been as consistent as Suggs at finishing off quarterback hurries with a sack this season, but on this third-down play he did.
Dumervil is lined up on the left side of the defense.
In the nickel package, the Ravens send the front six after Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but Green Bay’s offensive line initially creates a clean pocket.
Luckily for the Baltimore pass rush, Dumervil saves the play by dipping his shoulder on the right tackle and beating him to the outside.
Dumervil is able to force a strip sack of Rodgers. However, the Packers recover the fumble and punt the ball away.
Much like Suggs, Dumervil feasted on the opportunity to turn a sack into a potential turnover with the forced fumble. Unfortunately for Baltimore, the ball just didn’t bounce their way.
Q2, 2nd and 5, 12:43 remaining
Because one strip sack wasn’t good enough, Dumervil added another.
With the Packers backed up deep in their own territory, the Ravens send a simple four-man rush, with Dumervil lined up outside the right tackle.
Instead of using his speed to go around the right tackle as he did on the first play discussed, Dumervil implements a Suggs-like tactic, engaging with the right tackle and taking him for a ride right into Rodgers.
Dumervil disengages with the right tackle as he approaches Rodgers. While wrapping up Rodgers for the sack, Dumervil pokes the ball out as well.
But again the Packers fall on the ball and the Ravens miss a prime chance to take over possession inside the 10-yard line.
Q2, 1st and 10, 1:09 remaining
On this play Dumervil doesn’t come up with the sack, but his presence is still felt as a pass rusher.
With the Packers driving in Ravens territory just before halftime, the Ravens bring a four-man rush in their nickel package with Dumervil again lined up on the outside shoulder of the right tackle.
Dumervil uses his power to take the tackle back toward Rodgers, who is facing a collapsing pocket and stout coverage downfield. This leaves fullback John Kuhn as his only developing option out of the backfield.
Dumervil forces last-second pressure on Rodgers as he finds the soon-to-be open Kuhn to the left of the offensive line.
Dumervil’s ability to get a hand on Rodgers as he is throwing to Kuhn forces just a one-yard gain on the screen play
Overall, Dumervil was the only Ravens pass rusher to force consistent pressure on Rodgers, as Suggs had a rather pedestrian day on the right side of the defense.
Dumervil’s ability to force two fumbles could have been monumental game-changers had the Ravens recovered the ball on each play.
But so far through six games, it looks like the Ravens are getting their money’s worth and more with Dumervil.