Things have been far from predictable for the Ravens defense this season.
The leading tackler is an undrafted linebacker stepping in for the legendary
The Ravens defense has been riddled with injuries, but the group has embraced the “next man up” mantra, and perhaps no game personifies that better than Sunday’s 13-10 victory over the Steelers.
“It was a team effort,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “It was team defense.”
The Ravens defense received contributions from a variety of sources, including players who had hardly seen much playing time this season.
“There are so many guys that weren’t in the game playing, and yet, guys are stepping up,” Harbaugh said.
Players like Ihedigbo, who played just four snaps on defense, are making the most of any opportunities they get.
“That’s what I’m here for, whatever I can do to make an impact,” Ihedigbo said. “I’m glad that I did and helped our team.”
The Ravens defense has long been known for its stars, but this isn’t the same defense as past years.
Lewis and franchise cornerback
In Sunday’s game, the Ravens had five different starters from last year’s AFC championship game.
Rather than players like Lewis, Suggs or Ngata leading the charge, the Ravens turned to unfamiliar faces like Graham, Johnson, Ihedigbo, Jones, Ellerbe and Tyson. That group helped lead the Ravens to arguably their best performance of the season in the key game against the rival Steelers.
“The thing I am most proud about is how hard they played, how physical they were and how they just kept stepping up in a tough game,” Harbaugh said. "I was just proud of the whole group. I thought they played really well."