Week One injuries are never good news especially when it occurs to one of the leaders of the team. Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs left Sunday’s opener against the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter, and it was later announced that he has torn his Achillies, ending the 12-year veteran’s season. Although this comes as tragic news for Ravens fans and is a big blow to the defense, it can be easily overcome.
The Ravens defense ended the 2014 season second in sacks as a team with 49 and fourth in the lowest amount of rushing yards surrendered. Suggs was a large factor in that, contributing 12 sacks and finishing top-ten in the league. However, number three on that list was a fellow teammate of his by the name of Elvis Dumervil.
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Dumervil and the rest of the defense still managed to record 37 quarterback take-downs, making the loss of Suggs not so tragic-looking after all. Dumervil has been one of the top pass-rushers in the NFL for years now, as he has recorded more than eight sacks in seven of his nine seasons in the league. He has totaled 90 sacks in his nine-year stint.
He will try to replace Suggs as the leader of this defense, because that is exactly what he was. No player on active Ravens roster has been on the team longer than Suggs, and it is clear that Ray Lewis gave him the leadership role after he retired from the league following the 2o13 season. His presence on the field is what will be missed far more than his play on the field, though that wasn’t too shabby either.
However, I believe that the depth of this Ravens front seven will carry the team the rest of the season, and do a great job in doing such. Even without second-year starting defensive end Timmy Jernigan, the Ravens were still able to take Peyton Manning down four times – the most times he has been sacked in over two years. Two of them were thanks to another second-year man: C.J. Mosley.
Talk about a guy with a load of talent, this guy has it. After recording 133 tackles in his rookie season (second in the league), the former first-round pick out of Alabama tallied six tackles and two sacks in the opener against Denver. This guy could very well be the best middle linebacker in the NFL in just a couple of years barring any injuries.
So while the Ravens will dearly miss Suggs for a number of reasons, they should be fine without him. The team has so much depth and young talent – situations like these are exactly what Ozzie Newsome and the front office prepared for.
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