Baltimore Ravens: Just How Good is the Ravens’ Defense?

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 19: Terrell Suggs
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 19: Terrell Suggs /

The Baltimore Ravens’ defense has been among the best in the NFL, notching their third shutout of the year on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

The Baltimore Ravens’ offense has struggled mightily this season. They’re last or close to last in most passing categories, though they’ve had a decent run game since the emergence of running back Alex Collins.

But the real story for the Baltimore Ravens has been their defense this year. Just how good has their defense been? Well with this past Sunday’s shutout of the Green Bay Packers, the Ravens earned their third shutout of the season.

That shutout makes the Ravens the fifth team in the past 30 years to have at least three shutouts in a single season. The other teams include:

  • 1991 Washington Redskins;
  • 2000 Baltimore Ravens;
  • 2001 San Francisco 49ers; and
  • 2003 New England Patriots.

Of those four teams, three of them – the Redskins, Ravens, and Patriots – all won a Super Bowl, with the 49ers losing in the wild-card round.

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Does that mean the Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl bound? That’s tough to say. Sitting at 5-5, things haven’t been looking great, but their strategy lately of grinding out games using their running backs and letting their defense take over has worked fairly well.

If you look at just about every defensive stat, the Baltimore Ravens are right near the top. They’ve given up the second-fewest yards per game (279.8) and the fewest passing yards per game (165.2). They’re tied for the ninth-most sacks (28) and have the seventh-most yards lost on sacks (192).

On top of that, they have the most interceptions in the NFL (16), the most interception yards (188), and they’re tied for the fifth-most stuffs (38) and the eighth-most forced fumbles (11).

Any way you look at it, the Baltimore Ravens defense this season has been exceptional. Their only weakness has been against the run, but once lineman Brandon Williams came back from injury, they improved in that area significantly.

“When we go out there and play like Ravens, the sky is the limit,” said Williams. “We dominate people.” But while the Ravens defense has been championship quality, their offense has not, and it needs to get better if they want a shot at the postseason.

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“[The Ravens’ defensive play] don’t mean [expletive] if we don’t make the playoffs,” said linebacker Terrell Suggs. “It’s good. But if we don’t get in, y’all won’t remember [the shutouts].”