Terrell Suggs is used to being the sack leader in Baltimore.
The outside linebacker has carried the Ravens pass rush throughout his career, leading the team in sacks in four of the last six seasons.
He is once again at the pole position in this year's sack race, but fellow outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil has recently made up ground. After a season-high three sacks against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Dumervil now has 8.5 on the year and is just behind Suggs' nine.
Even with the competition closer than ever, neither player has much interest in talking about their numbers.
"I came here to try to win a championship, and we're 4-5, so we have to get that going," Dumervil said when asked about the sack race.
"It's all about wins," Suggs added. "We both want to do well in it, but it's only fun if you're winning."
The two outside linebackers do not want to get caught up in questions about the sack competition, but they are clearly pushing each other. They regularly banter with each other about their sack totals on the sidelines during games.
When Dumervil recorded a sack against the Packers, Suggs came over to the bench and responded by saying, "I better get going."
The competition between them benefitted the defense overall, as Suggs and Dumervil are doing their part to put the Ravens in good position* *to win games. They have been the team's best two players this season, according to Pro Football Focus, and they are leaders on a defense that currently ranks eighth in the NFL in points allowed.
Their success has created opportunities for each other and the rest of the defensive front, as both of them attract so much attention from opponents.
"It's good when you have a Defensive Player of the Year like Suggs that can move around," Dumervil said. "To be able to flip like that, give him credit. Not all pass rushers can flip like that, and for me to be able to feed off that is great."
Suggs has previously never had a pass rusher like Dumervil opposite him, and expectations coming into the season were that they could become the best pass-rushing tandem in Ravens history. They currently have 17.5 sacks between them, and the franchise record for most sacks between a duo is 24, set by Trevor Pryce and Adalius Thomas in 2006.
The Ravens currently rank third in the NFL with 32 sacks, and the team record for total sacks in a season is 60. If Suggs and Dumervil can keep up their pace for the rest of the year, they will break the record for a pass-rushing duo and also be close to the overall franchise record.
But before they focus their attention on setting new marks in the record books, they both stressed that they have to get the team back on a consistent winning track.
"I think once we get above .500, we'll see where we're at," Suggs said. "But first off, we've just got to get the wins first. That's most important."