The Baltimore Ravens‘ offense carved up the Cleveland Browns in a 37-6 win, but quietly, their defense looked pretty elite much of the afternoon.
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.
Patrick Queen Shouts Out Ray Lewis After Win
Not only did Queen play a leading role in a big win Sunday as a tough linebacker, the rookie took time afterward to give the proper credit right back to Lewis by wearing an awesome shirt and giving Lewis a great shout out.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 13, 2020
“It’s all about respect. Growing up, Ravens defense being physical. Ray Lewis really set the picture for me for the Ravens defense. Just giving him his respect by wearing this shirt. Letting him know that I respect his game, respect what he did for this organization and I’m just trying to follow in the same footsteps.”
Queen’s rookie debut was a good one for the Ravens. The linebacker recovered a fumble, had 4 tackles and a sack and did a great job in a commanding win. He looked a lot like Lewis, flying around and making some big time plays for his defense.
In the process, Queen remained humble and paid tribute to the legend. It was certainly nice to see.
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.
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