Lardarius Webb: C.J. Mosley Reminded Me Of Ray Lewis


Make sure to look closely at the back of the jersey before you get confused.

Ravens rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley wears No. 57 – not No. 52.

Mosley was all over the field Sunday in Indianapolis. The first-round rookie notched 14 tackles, an interception and quarterback hit that led to another interception.

It had veteran cornerback Lardarius Webb seeing visions of the Ravens' former defensive leader.

"Some of the plays he made on the field today, it's unbelievable," Webb said. "Reminds you of Ray [Lewis] – to me."

Mosley has a very long way to go before he's on Lewis' Hall of Fame level. But on Sunday, he sure did look like him at times. And it's safe to say that Mosley has progressed into one of the Ravens' most impressive defenders in just his fifth career NFL game.

Mosley began the game by stuffing Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw – a tough man to get down – on a fourth-and-1 play on Indianapolis' first offensive drive.

Later in the first quarter, Mosley blitzed up the middle and clobbered Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. The pass fluttered high into the air and was intercepted by defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

Mosley made another huge play late in the third quarter with the Colts already leading by 10 points and threatening to pull away. The defense needed a big play, and Mosley found himself in the right place at the right time to intercept a deflected pass just outside the end zone.

Mosley made one-armed tackles while being blocked on screen passes. He was strong in pass and run coverage alike.

The Alabama product leads the Ravens with 48 tackles through the first five games. He is already starting to get buzz as a potential defensive rookie of the year. The No. 17 pick overall is playing beyond his years and flying around the field.

"It's all about knowing what you have to do, knowing your job and watching film," Mosley said. "When you know what you're doing, you can play fast like that.

"I feel like I played well. But when you lose games, you've got to see what you're doing wrong. Some tackles I could have made, and some plays I didn't get back far enough in my drop. To be better as a team and defense, we've got to correct those things."

A couple of Mosley's teammates – two Pro*Bowlers and perhaps the two biggest names on the Ravens defense – didn't hesitate in heaping *praise on the rookie linebacker.

"I think he played phenomenal," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "We've all got to catch up to him."

"Awesome. Love having him back there behind me," Ngata added. "It's great that he hustles everywhere and makes all the tackles."

While Mosley did a lot, he didn't do it all. The defense collectively helped keep the Ravens in the game while the offense struggled.

Facing the NFL's top-ranked offense and top-passing quarterback thus far, and on the field for way too long, Baltimore's defenders came up with plays time and time again. They limited Luck to 312 yards as he completed 32 of 49 passes, and picked him off twice.

Even with the game seemingly sealed with the Colts inside the Ravens' 10-yard line with less than two minutes left, safety Matt Elam came up with a strip (recovered by safety Terrence Brooks) to give the Ravens offense one last chance.

"When I got my hand in, I felt like I had a grip on it to pull it out," Elam said. "It was just a great hustle play, not giving up on the play and just trying to give my team a chance to win."

The Colts put up 422 total yards – a healthy amount. But they held the ball for a whopping 38 minutes and 43 seconds – nearly two-thirds of the game. Indy ran 80 offensive plays.

After the game, the defense looked in the mirror for why it was on the field so long. Players said they needed to do a better job of getting off the field on third down. The Colts were 7-for-15.

The offensive and special teams turnovers, along with offensive inefficiency, also kept the defense on the field too long. The unit kept grinding, however, and came up with three red-zone stops.

"The defense, they played big," Webb said. "The guys are always in that never-give-up mode, and you can see it on the field. That's why I'm so glad and so proud to play on this defense."

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