Analyst Names Ravens Defense Best in NFL Ahead of Key Rival

Matt Judon

Getty Matt Judon celebrates a play with the Ravens defense.

The Baltimore Ravens have long been known as a defensive team, but in recent years, the team’s offense has taken over the headlines.

That certainly doesn’t mean the team’s defense is any slouch. In fact, they might be the best in the entire NFL if Good Morning Football analyst Kyle Brandt is to be believed. In a segment on the show, Brandt made the case that the Ravens and not the rival Pittsburgh Steelers have the best defense in the league.

Brandt said:

“I love the Steelers, but they don’t even have the best defense in their own division. Because it’s the Ravens. Give me Baltimore. The secret about Baltimore last year, after they got Marcus Peters, they were the best defense the rest of the way. I think the optics were bad because of what happened against Tennessee. So what do they do? They get Calais Campbell, they drafted Patrick Queen, they got muscle. I think it’s the Ravens, but it’s close. Pittsburgh’s really talented.”

It’s true that the Ravens didn’t have a banner finish to the 2019-2020 season, but made tons of improvements for 2020-2021 on the field. With these improvements, it would be easy to see the team taking over the mantle as the best defense in football and getting back to their nasty roots.

Certainly, that’s an outcome which some like Brandt are already predicting.

Mark Schlereth Says Ravens Have AFC’s Best Defense

Are they the best group in the NFL, though? That might be the case according to Fox Sports analyst Mark Schlereth. As Schlereth said in a recent video, he is picking the Ravens as the best defensive group in the conference thanks to what they can do in terms of personnel.

“There’s a bunch of ’em, but I’m going to go with the Ravens because they match their defensive personnel with what they do so well on the offensive side.”

The Ravens defense also quietly plays a huge role in the team’s success even though the offense generates more headlines. It was the team’s defense which helped play a huge role in both of the Super Bowl titles the franchise has claimed, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see the squad getting back to their elite ways.

Don Martindale Career Biography

After growing up in Ohio, Martindale started on the long path to the NFL in 1986 starting his career at Defiance College as the defensive coordinator. He had worked as a truck driver and caught a break when he got to work closely with Jack Harbaugh at Western Kentucky from 2000-2003. After that, Martindale got his big break into the NFL, and managed to work with the Oakland Raiders as a linebacker coach, then bounce to the Denver Broncos where he did the same thing before taking over as defensive coordinator in 2010. The Ravens hired him to coach linebackers in 2012, and he did that until he took over as defensive coordinator in 2018.

Martindale might have built one of the best defenses in the league at this point as well.

Ravens 2019 Defensive Statistics

Baltimore’s defense was a top group in the league this past season. They were rated the No. 3 defense in terms of total yards allowed (300.6), the No. 6 defense in terms of passing yards per-game (207.2), and the 5th ranked rush defense in the league with 93.4 yards per-game.

A key point? Baltimore also piled up 37 sacks on the season, with Matt Judon accounting for 9.5 in 2019. Obviously, the defense is solid as a whole and has plenty to like moving forward not just up front but on the back end. This offseason, the Ravens added names like Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison and Geno Stone to the group which should only figure to help depth for the season.

Those additions might only keep the Ravens near the top of the league when all is said and done, and it might help them even be the best in the league.

READ NEXT: Ravens Defense Picked as NFL’s Best

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