Bob Haynie: Ravens Defense Rising
After a regular season in which they finished 17th overall in total defense, the Baltimore Ravens have been playing to their more accustomed level in the 2012 playoffs.
Injuries were a major factor, as Baltimore could never seem to dominate the way that we are used to seeing them dominate.
For a time, Baltimore was one of the worst run stopping teams in the NFL. Without the injured Terrell Suggs, the Ravens were unable to generate a formidable pass rush.
Minus the pass rush, teams were able to throw against their beleaguered secondary.
The Ravens were, however, strong in the red zone and at forcing turnovers.
During the postseason, Baltimore has been outstanding on defense.
As we mentioned, injuries prevented the defense being the best they could be. Now, we are seeing a healthy unit and the results are obvious.
CB Lardarius Webb , unfortunately, is done after knee surgery.
But everyone else is back.
Suggs, Ray Lewis, Pernell McPhee, Dannell Ellerbe, Bernard Pollard and a few others, are back on the field healthy. At least, as healthy as they can be at this time of the season.
The results–and wins–in this postseason, are there to behold.
Against the Indianapolis Colts, in the Wild-Card round, Baltimore kept QB Andrew Luck and his offense out of the end zone as they won, 24-9.
The next weekend, in Denver, the defense forced three Broncos turnovers and recorded three sacks as the Ravens shocked Peyton Manning and crew, 38-35, in double overtime.
Two weeks ago, on the road against Tom Brady and the Patriots, defensive coordinator Dean Pees watched proudly as his troops shutout the Pats in the second half and won, 28-13.
As we know, QB Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense has been huge as the team advanced to Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans.
Let’s not forget the defense. This franchise has been successful because of their ability to stop teams.
If Baltimore wins the Super Bowl, I’m going to assume they, the “D”, will have a lot to do with it.