It sure wasn’t pretty, but the Baltimore Ravens found a way to escape Sun Life Stadium with a 26-23 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 5.
There are a whole list of things that I could address in one article, but instead, I’m going to pick out the one thing that stood out for me today for the Ravens: the pass rush.
A lot of criticism was thrown in the direction of the front office during the offseason, especial Ravens’ general manager Ozzie Newsome for “cheaping out” by bringing in guys like Michael Huff, Chris Canty, Marcus Spears and Elvis Dumervil at discounted prices. I will be the first to admit that I was also critical of the way the Anquan Boldin situation was handled, and I still think the Ravens made a mistake in letting him go.
However, today’s game was not about who had the better offense. Today’s game showed that having the better running game and playing a sound defense will usually prevail, and Baltimore did just that today.
Obviously, the man pictured above you let his play do most of the talking. Not only that, but outside linebacker Terrell Suggs led the way with three of his team’s six sacks of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and he was constantly in the backfield all day, regardless of the down. It also seems whenever Suggs has a solid effort, he makes his counterpart outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil that much better. Dumervil added his third sack of the season and the Ravens also saw two players collect their first sacks of the season. Courtney Upshaw and Pernell McPhee showed up and tallied a sack a piece.
I will say that I am not a huge fan of Terrell Suggs because personally, I think he’s a jerk. However, whenever Suggs is hyped and playing well for the Ravens, his comrades and defense responds.
Need a few examples as to just how good Terrell Suggs has been this season?
First, he leads the Ravens with 7.0 sacks and is fourth in the NFL with that total. The 30-year-old tied the Ravens’ franchise record for consecutive games with a sack at 5. He tied the marks set by Paul Kruger in 2012 and Adalius Thomas in 2005 and 2006. With the win today, the Ravens are 14-1 as a team when Terrell Suggs has a multi-sack performance — 10-1 when he has three sacks or more.
While he may not say or do the right things all the time, Suggs is showing why he wants to be known as the leader on this defense. He is not only their best player, but when he is healthy, there aren’t a lot of pass rushers that are more dominant than he.
In the past, he received criticisms from people like myself for tallying large sack totals against bad teams. Yes, Miami’s offensive line is putrid as quarterback Ryan Tannehill has now been sacked for an NFL-leading 24 times. However, when you take a star player like Suggs, you want consistency from week to week. Tallying at least a sack a game? What more can you ask for?