The Baltimore Ravens made some big changes this offseason to their defense, and they paid off handsomely following a big win in Week 1.
Baltimore’s defense only allowed 6 points and was aggressive all afternoon. A big reason why were the new additions to the mix, something Brian Baldinger was quick to point out. In a video, Baldinger showed why the new look Ravens defense is so good and as he hinted, the biggest reason are their big time new additions from both free agency and the draft.
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) September 16, 2020
“Calais Campbell is a problem. He’s a problem with his size, he batted a bunch of balls down. 2 new linebackers, Malik Harrison and Patrick Queen. Queen was everywhere on Sunday. His speed just shows up. If you have a fast middle linebacker, your defense looks faster. Then there’s Derek Wolfe. He’s just a proven player. He knows how to play.”
The Ravens only seem to have gotten better this offseason and it’s a huge credit to Eric DeCosta, their general manager as well as coaching staff. So far, with these additions, the team looks to be setting up for a potential season of dominance on that side of the ball.
With an offense as good as they have, an elite defense would help the Ravens become even better. It could be thanks to all the players they brought into the mix.
Analyst Thinks Ravens Defense Puts Them Over the Top
According to Peter Schrager of the NFL Network, that defense is going to be what determines how good the Ravens are this coming season. Speaking after the blowout win, Schrager said that in his mind, Baltimore’s defense is looking much improved and could be pushing the team toward greatness this season as evidence of their attacking mindset all over the field.
"With Lamar at QB, the @Ravens defense is always going to get overlooked. But the performance Wink Martindale's D put on yesterday can't be minimized. Both @CalaisCampbell and @Patrickqueen_ were magnificent in their debuts." – @PSchrags pic.twitter.com/Kbo5ZRpZJK
— GMFB (@gmfb) September 14, 2020
“I’d like to talk about Wink Martindale’s defense because they keep on getting better and better every season. The Browns were 3-12 on third down and 0-3 on fourth down. Baker (Mayfield) was running like a chicken with his head cut off because the Ravens defense was all over the field. Lamar (Jackson’s) great, we know that. It’s going to be the defense that gets them to that next level. Calais (Campbell) was fantastic in his debut. Patrick Queen was fantastic as a rookie. I’m so excited to see the Ravens progress because this could have gone one of two ways. It went the right way.”
All told, Schrager is right. If the Ravens defense can put up some lopsided numbers, the team might blow plenty of teams out this season given how well their offense has played and how consistent that group figures to remain.
It’s a very scary thought for the opposition.
Ravens Defense Called NFL’s Best
Everyone knows the Ravens defense is good. 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.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) August 6, 2020
“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.
With only 6 points allowed on opening weekend and Queen looking like a solid pickup who understands the team and culture, this might only be more of the case. The Ravens defense might be what gets them to that next level that they want to go this coming season.
If that’s true, their big ticket moves might have helped it be the case.
READ NEXT: J.K. Dobbins Dominates Rookie Debut