Steve Spagnuolo has already likened the 2013 Baltimore Ravens‘ re-tooled defense to his 2007 New York Giants outfit, who is remembered mostly for torturing Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLII. It may not be a preposterous comparison, though, considering how much pass-rushing talent the Ravens now boast.
The Ravens finished last season with 37 sacks, eleven less than 2011. They were tied for 15th in the league with the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Most of the drop off can be attributed to Terrell Suggs‘ injury. He led the team in sacks with 14 in 2011. Paul Kruger picked up most of the slack in 2012, recording nine sacks.
2013 could be a big year for the Ravens pass rush. The healthy returns of Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and Pernell McPhee should provide a huge boost, as should the additions of Elvis Dumervil, Chris Canty, and Daryl Smith. While Dumervil is clearly the best pass rusher amongst the aforementioned three, Canty and Smith are formidable situational pass rushers that can catch quarterbacks off-guard.
With Suggs, Dumervil, Ngata, Canty, Smith, and McPhee all out for blood in defensive coordinator Dean Pees‘ blitz-happy system, opposing offenses will have a lot of guys to block at once. The Ravens could end up winning a lot of games solely on their pass rush.
Add to the mix the fact that Arthur Jones, who came on strong at the end of last season, is entering the final year of his contract and will be looking to produce, and the Ravens might have the best pass rush in the league.