Roquan Smith Named AFC Defensive Player of the Month

Cincinnati Bengals running back Samaje Perine (34) is tackled by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith (18) in the first half of an NFL football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.

Roquan Smith's week just keeps getting better.

On Wednesday, he inked a five-year reported $100 million contract. The next morning, the Ravens linebacker was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for December/January of the 2022 season.

It's the first time Smith has ever received the monthly award in his five-year career, and it follows his first Pro Bowl nod as well. Smith was also named the Ravens' 2022 MVP by local media this week, despite playing in just nine games in Baltimore.

In six December/January games, Smith made 66 tackles, including six for loss, one sack, and one interception. The Ravens gave up just 14.7 points per game over that span, as Smith has been a major factor in turning the unit around.

Smith had one of his best games yet in the regular-season finale in Cincinnati, finishing with a season-high 16 tackles, including one for loss. Smith brought an undeniable intensity and edge to the game that he's now carrying into the playoffs.

"I don't think it's any better than being able to get this [contract] done and then with the playoffs right here and someone who I feel like we owe something to in Cincinnati, just going out there to get that [win], it's going to be even sweeter when that happens," Smith said.

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