Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Patrick Queen led the Ravens defense with eight tackles, including two for loss, and a key fumble recovery in Week 12 against the Cleveland Browns, and he took to social media to call out one of his critics after the game.
Pro Football Focus’s Sam Monson wrote that Cleveland’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah “is what Patrick Queen was supposed to be,” during November 28’s game in which the Browns’ rookie linebacker showed off his sideline-to-sideline speed in shutting down the Ravens offense.
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But Queen, who played through a rib injury to have a solid game himself, had a response to the comparison: “Come again?”
His reply earned almost twice as many likes as Monson’s original tweet, with many Ravens fans joining in to defend Queen, Baltimore’s 2020 first-round draft pick. He showed flashes of his potential during his rookie season, but was far too inconsistent in his play recognition and tackling.
The former LSU Tiger endured a similarly tough start to the 2021 season, repeatedly missing tackles and failing to diagnose opposing run plays. But several midseason adjustments to Baltimore’s defense, including the addition of veteran Josh Bynes into the starting lineup and changes to Queen’s on-field responsibilities, have helped the second-year linebacker round into form as the Ravens face a difficult stretch to end the season, with matchups against three top-11 scoring offenses remaining on their schedule.
Queen Unfairly Graded This Season?
It’s no surprise that a PFF writer showed such disdain for Queen, given that he’s been one of their worst-graded linebackers since entering the NFL in 2020. He finished his rookie season with an NFL-worst (among all positions) 29.7 overall defense grade, with tackling, coverage and run defense grades that all ranked dead last among all linebackers.
This year, his 41.6 defense grade ranks 68th out of 83 graded linebackers, and his 35.1 coverage grade is the second-worst at his position as well. His 12 missed tackles have earned him a 47.9 tackling grade, the seventh-lowest mark of any linebacker in 2021. He failed to break a 40.0 grade in four of his first five outings, but has improved drastically in recent weeks. That hasn’t been reflected in his grading from PFF.
While Queen earned 82.0 or better overall grades for Weeks 6, 7 and 10, including a brilliant 90.5 outing against the Los Angeles Chargers, he’s also earned grades below 60.0 for two consecutive performances for which PFF themselves praised Queen.
Here’s what PFF’s Jacob Rosenfarb wrote after the Ravens beat the Chicago Bears in Week 11:
Patrick Queen was a force, leading Baltimore with seven total tackles including a crucial third-down tackle for loss midway through the first quarter. He captained a Ravens linebacking corps that dominated in coverage, as they conceded receptions on just one of their five unit-wide targets for 2 yards.
Yet Queen earned just a 56.6 defensive grade for his performance, despite earning run defense and tackling grades above 80.0. He repeatedly swallowed up Chicago’s ballcarriers and didn’t allow a single catch on four targets in coverage.
Then, after leading Baltimore’s defense to hold Browns running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to just 36 combined rushing yards, Queen earned another rave review, this time from PFF’s Austin Gayle:
Patrick Queen had one of the best games of his young career on Sunday night. He made multiple defensive stops and allowed just 16 yards in coverage. He should finish reviews with an 85.0-plus PFF grade.
But mysteriously, Queen ended up with a 59.7 final grade, despite earning honors as the Sunday Night Football Player of the Game for his efforts.
Ex-Ravens Coach Praises Queen
Even if Queen doesn’t get any respect from Pro Football Focus, he earned some praise by former Ravens head coach Brian Billick, who brought the franchise its first-ever Super Bowl in 2000.
In his weekly film breakdown, Billick highlighted “how quickly Patrick Queen pulls the trigger to blow up” the Browns’ second play from scrimmage on November 28.
That wasn’t Queen’s only highlight of the night, as he consistently did his job by taking on blockers and filling gaps, while also ending several plays himself.
So even if Queen can’t earn better grades from Pro Football Focus, he still has the admiration of a Super Bowl-winning coach who, after spending his entire tenure in Baltimore with legendary linebacker Ray Lewis, can certainly recognize quality linebacker play when he sees it.