Skip to main content

50 Words or Less: Ravens Pass Rush Has Been Better Than Many Expected

DT Justin Madubuike
DT Justin Madubuike

After squandering another fourth-quarter lead, the Ravens (3-3) will look to bounce back at home against the Browns (2-4), who have dropped three straight.

It's a matchup between AFC North rivals in need of a victory. Here are my thoughts on Sunday's game, all in 50 words or less:

The Ravens are tied for 10th in the league in sacks (15). That's more than respectable and Justin Madubuike is bringing heat from inside, tied for the team lead in sacks (2.5) with Patrick Queen. The rush should get even better when Justin Houston and Tyus Bowser return.

In addition to Madubuike, another rookie to watch is defensive tackle Travis Jones, who got his first career sack in Week 6. Jones is getting it done as both a run stopper and pass rusher. The Ravens may have gotten a steal in Round 3.

Lamar Jackson is very good, but he has five fourth-quarter turnovers this season. That's not very good. Jackson is fully capable of taking better care of the football. He's done it most of his career. When he gets back to that, he'll get back to playing MVP-level football.

DeSean Jackson will probably be fast when he's 50. At 35, he still provides a deep threat and stretches the field, which can create opportunities for others. Signing him made sense. If Jackson can stay healthy, he'll bring a needed dimension whenever he starts playing.

Ronnie Stanley played really well against the Giants. There were some major holes for Kenyan Drake to run through, and Stanley's presence was part of it. The Browns rank 24th against the run, and Baltimore's ground game may cook again on Sunday.

Nick Chubb leads the NFL in rushing, but he's not getting much help. Over the last three games, Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett has two touchdown passes with four interceptions. The Ravens' defensive game plan will be obvious. Shut down Chubb, and force Brissett to beat them.

In two games without Rashod Bateman, Jackson has averaged just 192 yards passing. Bateman is averaging 22.1 yards per catch. The Ravens have missed the juice he brings to the passing game, working in tandem with Devin Duvernay as potential big play threats.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said this week that he maintained "high hopes" for wide receiver James Proche II. He's only played 32 offensive snaps this season. With Bateman and Mark Andrews (knee) dealing with injuries, Proche could get more reps, but he needs to capitalize if that happens.

It will be fun to see the Ravens' last Super Bowl team honored on in a 10-year anniversary celebration on Sunday. Celebrating Super Bowls never gets old. It should add to the electricity at M&T Bank Stadium and the Ravens can't afford another home loss.

Related Content