Linebacker Elvis Dumervil lost his tag-team partner.
Last year, Dumervil and Terrell Suggs teamed up to have the most sacks of any duo in the league (29). Now it's down to one after Suggs tore his Achilles in Week 1 in Denver.
In the defense's first statement without Suggs, the pass rush felt flat. The Ravens notched just one sack on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and hardly created any pressure.
Baltimore will lean heavily on Dumervil, who is still searching for his first sack.
"Having Terrell Suggs definitely makes my job easier," Dumervil said Wednesday. "But, we have guys we have to count on, and we all have to step up – myself included. We're looking forward to doing that this week."
Dumervil tied a career high with 17 sacks last season, in part because he took fewer snaps in run-stopping packages to save his body for passing downs. Last week, Dumervil saw 62 snaps, his highest count since joining the Ravens in 2013.
In a rare instance, Dumervil got a lower rating in pass rush (negative-1.7) than he did in run defense (positive-0.7) against the Raiders, per Pro Football Focus.
But Dumervil said he's not pressing for sacks, and didn't seem worried.
"Like I mentioned last year, sacks come in bunches," he said. "Once they start coming, they start rolling. But, the first thing we want to get done is we have to get this W. That's more important right now."
The Ravens are going to have a tough time getting a win if they can't get more pressure than they did last Sunday.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said the Raiders focused on getting the ball out quickly, negating Baltimore's rush. What Harbaugh was frustrated with was not getting off blocks to create pressure on quarterback roll-outs and bootlegs.
Dumervil was asked for his take on why the Ravens pass rush faltered in Oakland.
"We just didn't do it. It's really that simple," Dumervil said. "And when we do [get pressure on the quarterback], it'll be that simple as well. We just have to continue to practice hard and get after the guys in practice, so it can carry over to game day."
The Ravens had a tough time putting pressure on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton last season. In their Week 1 meeting at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens didn't get a single sack. Baltimore got two sacks on Dalton when they went to Cincinnati, one by Suggs and another by departed defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
Like the Raiders, the Bengals also emphasize getting the ball out of Dalton's hands quickly. He hasn't been sacked yet this season, contributing to his 120.3 quarterback rating and five touchdowns to no interceptions thus far.
"A lot of things that the Raiders did, [the Bengals] kind of have in their playbook too," inside linebacker C.J. Mosley said. "So, we've got to be ready for those same kinds of plays.
"It comes down to us making plays in the open field. You want to try to get their best players matched up with ours. They've got great running backs, so they're going to try to match up [with] our linebackers. We've got to do a great job making plays and trying to make one-on-one tackles."