Ravens Defense Rediscovered Its Shutdown Potential and Hope to Keep It Rolling


There's no getting around the fact that the Ravens defense has experienced some serious ups and downs so far in 2017.

It has dominated the opposition on the good days, allowing an average of just 6.7 points in Baltimore's four wins, two of which were achieved with shutouts.

In the Ravens' four losses, though, they've allowed an average of 30.2 points.

After helping the defense dominate the Miami Dolphins in a 40-0 rout last week, linebacker C.J. Mosley believes his unit might be ready to become more predictable.

"I wouldn't say we turned a corner or a certain switch clicked in. We just played regular football," Mosley said Wednesday about the Miami game. "What we did in that game is what we did in the first two games, what we did all preseason."

The defense shut out the Bengals in Cincinnati to begin the season, then followed that up with an effective outing in a 24-10 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Defensive tackle Brandon Williams left the Cleveland game with a foot injury, though, and was sidelined for a month. With the interior missing its anchor, the run defense plummeted in the league rankings and the overall defense had its ups and down.

But Williams returned in a loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 22 and the defense looked like its old self four days later as it completely suffocated the Dolphins' attack.

So is that the Baltimore defense we can expect to see down the stretch in 2017?

"We showed our potential," Mosley said. "That (Miami game) showed that when we put our minds in the right spot and everyone does their technique, we can be a shutout type of defense."

Heading into the second half of the season, the Ravens are ranked No. 10 in total defense, No. 5 in pass defense, No. 6 in fewest points allowed, No. 7 in third down defense and No. 4 in red zone defense.

They're the only defense in the league with two shutouts so far in 2017.

"In a few games, we let some big plays get through in the run game, the pass game, gave up a lot of points, a lot of yards in the run game," Mosley said. "We just got away from some fundamentals, got away from playing sound technique.

"That last game was what we've always been about, what we teach every day ... we have to make sure we play that kind of football every week."

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