Coming into the season-opening game against the Denver Broncos, the Baltimore Ravens had Corey Graham starting at cornerback and Michael Huff starting at free safety. After giving up a record-tying seven touchdown passes to Peyton Manning and the Broncos, the Ravens wasted no time making some changes.
Huff was replaced by rookie Matt Elam, and Graham was replaced by former first-rounder Jimmy Smith. Coach John Harbuagh could have easily just dismissed the first game seeing as they were going up against one of the greatest QBs of all time, but he didn’t — he took a calculated risk, and it’s paying off thus far.
Besides allowing a 50-yard plus pass to the Cleveland Browns‘ Jordan Cameron, the Ravens pretty much shut them down. Granted it was only the Browns, but are they not an professional NFL team? The Ravens took it another step this past Sunday by shutting down a good team in the Houston Texans. Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Owen Daniels were held in check for the most part, although Johnson was in pretty bad shape late in the second half, to be fair.
James Ihedigbo has been a pleasant surprise as well. It was believed that Ihedigbo would be a backup to Elam this year, but Ihedigbo played his way into the starting job during the preseason, and he’s been on fire ever since. In addition to breaking up a couple of passes, Ihedigbo had two tackles for losses against Houston’s powerful run game.
It’s been so far, so good for the changes to the secondary, but we’ll see how they hold up with two straight road games against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, before coming home to have Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
Read more from Dan Abeshouse here