Ravens Defensive Tackle Joins Elite Company in Week 12 Win vs. Chargers

Ravens DT Justin Madubuike sacks Bengals QB Jake Browning.

Ravens DT Justin Madubuike sacks Bengals QB Jake Browning.

The Baltimore Ravens were able to celebrate an individual achievement, as well as a win, in their Week 12, 20-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike got his 10th sack of the season in what has been a special season so far for the fourth-year player. Madubuike and fellow defensive tackle Travis Jones brought down quarterback Justin Herbert together during the 2nd quarter to split the sack.

With that sack, the Ravens tweeted that Madubuike is “The first Raven since Terrell Suggs [2017] to reach double digit sacks.”

That is some elite company for Madubuike to join. Suggs was drafted 10th overall during the 2003 NFL draft and was one of the most prolific pass rushers during his career.

Suggs had 132.5 sacks in 16 years with the Ravens (8.28 sacks per season). He reached double digit sacks seven times, including a career high of 14.0 in 2011.

He was a Defensive Rookie of the Year, All-Pro First Team, Defensive Player, 7-time Pro Bowler and a 2-time Super Bowl champion (once with the Ravens and once with the Kansas City Chiefs).

Unfortunately, head coach John Harbaugh told reporters that Madubuike was entered into the concussion protocol. The Ravens are entering their bye week, so the hope will be that the star DT will be able to get healthy with the extra week off and be ready for the stretch run.

Ravens’ Justin Madubuike Taking Next Step in Career

Madubuike was drafted by the Ravens in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft. He has been a consistent contributor and solid run-stopper for the Ravens in his first three years.

However, he has exploded in his fourth season (a contract year) in terms of statistics and leadership of the defense.

The defensive tackle shows up on the tape almost every week and is a major part of this sack league-leading defense.

Prior to this year, the third-round player’s career high in sacks was 5.5 sacks and 42 combined tackles. Incredibly, 12 games into this season he has reached 10 sacks and 37 combined tackles already.

His ability to generate pressure has opened opportunities for his fellow pass-rushers because offensive lines are having to focus their attention on him.

Pro Football Focus has graded Madubuike at a “70.7 overall” this season. The grade is good enough for 28th out of 123 interior linemen.

The breakout is coming at a good time for Madubuike as the fourth-year player will be entering free agency at the end of the year and could be in line for a payday.

Ravens Defense Continues Domination

The defense continued to show why they are one of the league’s best in their dominating win over the Chargers.

The Chargers seemed to have no answers for the Ravens defense the whole night. They put together an early field goal drive and late touchdown drive, but otherwise were completely stifled.

Coach Harbaugh in his post-game press conference said, “Defensively deserves an extra shout.”

Anytime the Chargers offense seemed to be clicking the Ravens defense would turn up the heat and force an error, stop or turnover.

The defense forced four turnovers from the Chargers (3 fumbles and an interception).

They forced three key fumbles (two in the first half and one in the second half). Two were by Jadaveon Clowney, who had an explosive game, and another by Patrick Queen.

Safety Kyle Hamilton seemed to be everywhere, and the team generated seven pass deflections.

The defense generated three more sacks to add to their league leading 44.0 through the first 11 weeks (now 47.0).

The Ravens enter their bye week at 9-3 atop not only the AFC North, but the AFC conference as well.

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