Ravens’ Justin Houston Reveals Celebration Plans for His 100th Sack

Ravens Justin Houston

Getty Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Justin Houston celebrates a sack with his former team, the Indianapolis Colts.

After recording his first sack of the season last week, Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Justin Houston now sits just 1.5 sacks away from reaching 100 in his career.

The Ravens’ next opponent? Houston’s former team, the Indianapolis Colts, on Monday Night Football in Week 5.

Houston downplayed any talk of a ‘revenge game’ on Thursday, October 7, telling media, “I’m going to treat it like any other game. Nothing special about this game besides that we need a win, it’s an AFC game.”

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The veteran had a similar approach to his last game against a former team, a 2019 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs in which Houston recorded 1.0 sack and two tackles for loss.

If Houston reaches the century mark against the Colts, he already knows how he wants to mark the occasion: By taking home the jersey of the victim of his 100th sack.

Unlike teammate Justin Tucker, who held onto the ball he kicked for an NFL-record 66-yard field goal to beat the Detroit Lions all the way onto the team plane, Houston wants a jersey to commemorate his achievement.

“They can have the ball, I want the jersey,” he said with a chuckle.

Colts Weakened On Offensive Line

Houston will have a good shot at collecting at least 1.5 sacks on Monday night, as the Colts have shuffled their offensive line multiple times this season, with eight different players suiting up for at least 60 snaps.

Their pass protection has been particularly poor; despite giving up just 10.0 sacks, a touch above the league average, the Colts have the worst pass-blocking grade in the NFL from Pro Football Focus.

To make matters worse, Indianapolis will be without All-Pro guard Quentin Nelson on Saturday, as well as Week 1 starter Braden Smith, leaving a banged-up offensive line that has allowed a whopping 76 pressures in just four games.

With the Ravens coming off a 5.0-sack game against the Denver Broncos and Houston especially motivated with his milestone within reach, Colts quarterback Carson Wentz could be in for a long night.

Ravens’ Pass Rush Improving

Houston’s addition to the defense has boosted the Ravens’ pass rush, which had a slow start to the year with only five sacks in three games. He was sidelined for the Lions game as a COVID-19 close contact. But it was clear from watching the team that they were due for an explosion, which came last Sunday afternoon in Denver.

Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser had two sacks, with Houston and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike chipping in one apiece.

Houston’s leadership of the Ravens’ edge rushers has the group shooting for new heights.

Rookie outside linebacker Odafe Oweh also recorded his second career sack on a hit that knocked Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater out of the game with a concussion.

When asked about the hit this week, Oweh responded, “There was no ill intent. Our mentality is to bring physicality and do everything that we got to do safely, no penalties. I wish Teddy prosperity. I wasn’t trying to do anything dirty,” per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

Houston’s experience has been especially beneficial for Oweh’s development, with a clear mentorship established between the veteran and the rookie. The pair can frequently be seen putting in extra work after practices, focusing on pass rush moves that Houston has perfected over his eleven years in the league. Oweh even refers to Houston as ‘Yoda,’ the wise green Jedi from the “Star Wars” movies.

When Houston does eventually record his 100th sack, expect his top pupil Oweh to be among the first to congratulate him.

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