With all of the roster turnover that the Baltimore Ravens sustained over the offseason, their defense continues to be the foundation of the team.
With Ray Lewis and Ed Reed gone, a lot of people thought that the Ravens’ defense would fall off in dramatic fashion. While losing Lewis and Reed is never a good thing, I had high hopes for the defense thinking that they would be faster than the 2012 defense. While the unit has had their issues this season in terms of failing in the clutch in close games, it has managed to stay in line with the league’s best defenses.
Entering Week 13, the Ravens’ defense ranked first in the NFL in red zone defense. They were also ranked 10th overall in yards allowed, and seventh in points allowed. Considering the circumstances, the defense is doing a great job.
A lot of credit should go to guys like nose tackle Haloti Ngata and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, as both of them have been speculated to be off the roster after the 2013 season. Both of these players are the main leaders of the defense, and when they are on, this defense will give any offense problems.
Even with some of the success, the defense can get better, which is scary in some ways. With a young corner in Jimmy Smith emerging as one of the best corners in the game and cornerback Lardarius Webb coming back into form after tearing his ACL, the transition to a new era is going smoother than most people thought.
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