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Rookie Tyus Bowser Roars With First Career Interception and Sack

Posted Sep 17, 2017

Second-round outside linebacker Tyus Bowser turned momentum with an interception at the end of the first half just when the Browns were threatening to make it a tight game.

The pesky Cleveland Browns were marching down the field near the end of the first half, threatening to either tie or tighten a game the Ravens were mostly controlling.

That’s when, in a matter of a few plays, the Ravens turned the tide to take a commanding 14-point lead into the locker room, a lead they held onto the rest of the way in a 24-10 win in their home-opener at M&T Bank Stadium.

The man who got that momentum swing started?

Rookie outside linebacker Tyus Bowser.

The second-round pick out of Houston made a crucial interception of quarterback Kevin Hogan with 30 seconds left in the first half and returned it to the Cleveland 40-yard line. The Ravens offense punched it in the end zone three plays later behind a 37-yard Buck Allen run and 2-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Jeremy Maclin with one second left.

It was an impressive play for Bowser, especially considering it’s just his second NFL game.

“To come up with that [interception], that was a Raven play,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “That was a play we needed in a critical moment, to flip that situation and to go score a touchdown at the end of the half. That was a dramatic shift of momentum there. He was the reason for it.”

Bowser dropped into zone coverage on the first-and-15 play. Hogan rolled out to his right and tried to throw on the run. Just as he released, outside linebacker Matthew Judon, who had a running start, clobbered the backup quarterback.

Bowser pounced, coming underneath the intended target to make his first career interception. Bowser was lauded for his athleticism and ability to drop into coverage effectively when the Ravens drafted him with the 47th-overall pick.

“I saw the back running the cross and I just took him,” Bowser said. “I saw pressure on the quarterback and saw him roll out. I was pretty sure he was going to throw it, then he threw it and I just ran with the opportunity and made the play.”

Bowser came close to notching a safety as well. In the second quarter, with the Browns backed up to their own 7-yard line, Bowser pressured Hogan, and right tackle Shon Coleman had no choice but to hold. Had the hold happened in the end zone, it would have been a safety. Instead, Bowser ripped through the hold and still brought Hogan down for a 2-yard loss.

“Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees made a good call,” Bowser said. “He gave me an opportunity to rush and do what I get paid for. I gave him a quick power move.”

Bowser is a very serious, very focused rookie. Harbaugh said that when Bowser doesn’t do things 100 percent right, he really gets down on himself. “Sometimes I have to grab him a little bit and tell him, ‘It’s going to be OK, man.’” Harbaugh said.

Playing in front of a packed M&T Bank Stadium in a regular-season game, Bowser said the crowd gave him a lot of energy.

Notching his first career interception and first career sack in his first game at M&T Bank Stadium isn’t a bad start.

“Just a great day to be a Raven,” Bowser said. “What an experience to come out here and play in this stadium. It was huge. … Getting an opportunity to be on the field in front of these fans with these guys on defense, all credit goes to them.”

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