Baltimore Ravens: Best Front Seven in the League?


The Baltimore Ravens secondary has performed incredibly terribly this season. We all knew that they possessed problems heading in, but no one could have seen this coming.

They are currently ranked 29th in passing yards against, and don’t blame all that on the injury to starting cornerback Jimmy Smith. Sure he was by far their best cornerback, but even prior to his season-ending injury, they were still ranked in the bottom ten in this very category.

With that being said, thank the good Lord that they have a dominant front seven, because if they didn’t, their current record definitely would not be 7-4. We know they have a very good front seven, but just how dominant is this group?

For starters, they rank fifth in the league in rush defense, only giving up 971 yards on the ground (3.7 yards-per-carry). Their run defense has held teams so stagnant that opponents refuse to run on them anymore.

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With players like Haloti Ngata, Brandon Williams, and Chris Canty up front, I would be afraid to run on them as well. I mean, that might just be the largest group of defensive linemen in the entire National Football League. And size isn’t everything. Each of those three players have a ton of talent and are pretty darn good football players.

In my humble opinion, the defensive linemen aren’t even the best part about this front seven. The Ravens possess arguably the best group of linebackers in the NFL.

It all starts with edge rushers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. The two players have recorded 18.5 combined sacks, and Dumervil is second in the league with 12.5. Suggs has accumulated over 100 career sacks, and ever since coming to Baltimore, Dumervil has been huge for the Ravens. It has been a tandem that no one wants to deal with.

Oct 19, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) congratulates linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) after making a sack in the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Then you move to the middle, where C.J. Mosley is on pace to become the Defensive Rookie of the Year. The 17th overall pick from Alabama has led the Ravens in tackles in eight out of the 11 games this season. In total, he has recorded 99 tackles (sixth in the league) and two interceptions.

There was doubt about who would take over the leadership role after the departure of Ray Lewis, but sure enough, a player at the same position has assumed the mantle to be the leader of this team. Ray Lewis himself put it best before the Monday Night game against New Orleans “He might be young, but he has the mind of a veteran.” Those are strong words coming from the greatest middle linebacker of all time.

He and fellow middle linebacker Daryl Smith have combined for 178 tackles this year, which leads the league for the most tackles between two players on one team. Both Smith and Mosley are top 11 in the league in tackles.

The Ravens’ front seven has the fifth-best run defense in the league and two of the best linebacker tandems in all of football. The secondary should be thanking this group every day, because if it weren’t for them. they would be looking a whole lot worse than they currently do.