C.J. Mosley Broke Out Against the Carolina Panthers


Sep 11, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) is congratulated by linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) after recovering a fumble in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

C.J. Mosley has hardly been a liability in his short NFL career, but prior to Week 4, he hadn’t been a standout either. That all changed with Mosley’s monstrous game against the Carolina Panthers, in which he dominated to the tune of a career-high 11 tackles and two passes defended. The stats were impressive, but how he got them was even more so.

Run support, which has been Mosley’s strength this season, was where Mosley was most impressive Sunday. Despite his small frame (Mosley weighs just 235 pounds) Mosley was incredible at shedding blocks. Unblockable is not a word I throw around lightly, but Mosley was unblockable Sunday.

On multiple plays, running backs ran at a seemingly blocked Mosley, only to get brought down by Mosley’s long, powerful arms.

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In pass coverage, Mosley was pretty solid as well. This is the area where Mosley struggled the most early in his career surprisingly, but he has improved in every game. The middle of the field, which had been a weak point in the Ravens’ zone coverage, was a strength against the Panthers, who were often forced to attack the sidelines. Mosley was a big reason for that.

Mosley’s stats alone qualify him to be involved in the Defensive Rookie of the Year race. He has racked up 34 total tackles this year, along with a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and four passes defended. Games like this, though, will be what stick in voters’ minds.

More important than awards, of course, is whether or not Mosley will continue to have such a big impact. The answer is probably mixed.

On one hand, Mosley dominated a decimated running backs corps and an offensive line that has struggled badly this year. On the other hand, Mosley has shown steady improvement every time he’s been on the field, from the first preseason game to his Week 4 break out.

We probably shouldn’t expect +7.1 grades from Pro Football Focus (subscription needed) every week. Ravens fans can settle, though, for steady play and steady improvement, which Mosley looks certain to provide.