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Ravens Defense Makes Life Miserable for Lions

ILB Roquan Smith
ILB Roquan Smith

Baltimore has played well on defense all season, but raised the bar in this game with a dominant performance against a team that entered the game averaging 28.0 28 points. The Lions didn't manage a first down until their fourth drive and didn't score until the fourth quarter when the Ravens already led, 35-0.

It was a long afternoon for Lions quarterback Jared Goff, who was sacked five times, as the Ravens boosted their NFL-leading sack total to 29 for the season. The Ravens have posted at least three sacks in five straight games, and the pass rush has become a lethal weapon.

After the Ravens scored on their first four possessions to take a 28-0 lead, the Lions' offense was forced to become one-dimensional by relying on their passing game. That's a tough way to play against the Ravens, who got two sacks from Kyle Van Noy and one each from Justin Madubuike, Odafe Oweh, and Arthur Maulet.

"The game turned into a passing game, and I liked that because the rush was getting there, and it flustered him (Goff)," said Geno Stone, who got his fourth interception of the year. In a situation like that, for me, I like that because he was overthrowing the ball and that is an opportunity for takeaways."

Entering the game playing well defensively, the Ravens took it to another level in Week 7 and believe the best is yet to come. Three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey has only played three games since returning from foot surgery. Oweh was playing his first game since injuring his ankle in Week 2. Starting safety Marcus Williams (hamstring) didn't play against the Lions and has missed much of the season with injuries.

Van Noy and Jadeveon Clowney give the Ravens two veteran outside linebackers who have picked up the defense quickly and provided energy, knowledge and leadership. Van Noy has seen enough NFL games to know that the Ravens dominated this one.

"Honestly – I'm not trying to be disrespectful – that's a [butt]-whooping. I say that in the nicest way possible," Van Noy said. "I've been on the other end of that a couple times, and it's just one of those games.

"Detroit is better than that, and this one got away quickly. I think we took it to them really, really early, and we showed up. I think a lot of people were touting them this week, and the Baltimore Ravens' defense, we came together like we should."

The Ravens have only given up six defensive touchdowns in seven games, but don't believe they've reached their peak on defense. That's a scary thought for future opponents.

"From top to bottom, D-line, linebackers, secondary, I don't really see any weaknesses," Smith said. "If we're all on our game, it's really hard to move the ball on us."

The Ravens didn't get the shutout, but they got their most convincing win of the season against an opponent that had won four straight games. On a day when outside linebacker Terrell Suggs was inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor, the defense took command

"Honestly, it's awesome to see Terrell Suggs," Van Noy said. "He looked really good out there. It looked like the crowd was really receptive, and it was 'Ball So Hard University' today, and we had to put on a show for him."

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