Ravens Capitalize On Tipped Passes


Before Head Coach John Harbaugh talked about any other facet of Sunday's 55-20 win over the Oakland Raiders in his post-game press conference, he brought up tipped passes.

The Ravens coaches stressed it all week. And the players delivered.

Baltimore's front seven got its mitts on six passes, including one by outside linebacker Paul Kruger that he deflected to himself and leapt up to intercept.

"Six tipped balls," Harbaugh said. "That is something that has been an emphasis for our [defensive] front [and] going forward. I thought those guys did a real nice job in that."

Before the bye, Houston disrupted Baltimore's passing attack with tipped passes that led to an interception for a touchdown and a second pick later in the game. The Texans had 11 pass deflections overall and five from their front seven.

The Ravens wanted to do more of that themselves, and had seen other teams be successful doing so against the Raiders on film.

Rookie seventh-round pick DeAngelo Tyson and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, playing in just his third game, swatted two passes each. Rookie Courtney Upshaw and Kruger each got one.

Kruger's came in the second quarter when the Ravens were leading by two touchdowns. The Raiders were looking to set up a wide receiver screen with Derek Hagan, but Kruger stepped into the passing lane.

"I just put my hands up and the ball just happened to bounce the right way," Kruger said. "Luckily the ball fell down, right into my hands. It's just kind of one of those plays that comes your way."

But as the saying goes, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. "It's something that [Defensive Coordinator] Dean Pees has been harping on us all week," Kruger said. "We've been practicing it. It's a credit to the coaches, to just make sure we had all the little things in our minds, and that really paid off today."

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