Baltimore Ravens Defense Stingiest in NFL, History on Their Side


Oct 19, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is pressured by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (21) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Lunchtime Links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption.  Today we have the latest grades for week seven, a player that is paying dividends for the team, how the Baltimore Ravens defense is the stingiest in the NFL, and why history is on this team’s side.

Owen Daniels Paying Dividends

"When the Ravens signed Owen Daniels this summer, he was intended to be a complement to Dennis Pitta and an excellent teacher.Daniels has followed through in one of those departments. He’s surpassed in the other.With Pitta going down with a season-ending hip injury, Daniels has become the team’s top tight end. But he’s done more than just move up the depth chart.Daniels caught a team-high six passes for 58 yards and a touchdown Sunday against Atlanta. He was targeted nine times. No other Ravens receiver had more than five targets."

Ravens vs. Falcons Grades

"The Baltimore Ravens played host to the Atlanta Falcons for a Week 7 clash of two teams looking to rebound from poor 2013 seasons. Neither team made the playoffs last season after winning their respective divisions in 2012.That year, Baltimore won the Super Bowl, while Atlanta made it to the NFC Championship Game. However, both teams combined to go 12-20 last year.The 4-2 Ravens looked like the better team coming into this game, and that held true early on. Baltimore forced the Atlanta offense into a three-and-out to start the game."

More from Ebony Bird

Ravens Need to Lock up Rising Star

"Speaking of training camp, remember when we couldn’t stop gushing over Pernell McPhee? My colleague Brian Bower and I wrote about him in our camp reports every day. He was the best defensive player on the field, regardless of whether he was on the first team, second team, or third team defense. McPhee played so well, he forced Dean Pees to find playing time for him.Now McPhee is wrecking offenses when the games count. Ask Matt Ryan. McPhee forced a fumble and notched two sacks, easily his most prolific splash game of the season.According to Pro Football Focus, McPhee has collected eight QB hits and 14 QB hurries already this season. Those numbers also don’t account for the times he has collapsed the pocket inside out, enabling Elvis Dumervil or Terrell Suggs to gain a clean lane off the edge.There has been some noise about the Ravens potentially losing the impending free agent just like they lost Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Arthur Jones, and Cory Redding."

History on Raven’s Side

"The Baltimore Ravens took over first place in the AFC North on Sunday, when they beat the Atlanta Falcons and the reeling Cincinnati Bengals were shut out bye the Indianapolis Colts.Does it mean anything that for the Ravens to be in the top spot seven weeks into the season? History suggests yes.Over the past five seasons, 70 percent of the teams won their divisions after having sole possession of first place heading into Week 8. That’s 26 of 37 teams.“It’s good to be there at this time,” coach John Harbaugh said. “But you have to build on it, you have to keep getting better. We’re not a good enough team to do the things that we want to do right now, so we have to keep improving.”"

Ravens Have NFL’s Stingiest Defense

"Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees bemoaned the fact last week that allowing big plays has prevented his defense from being a top 10 one in the NFL.“I mean I guess I don’t care, as long as we keep winning like we’re winning,” Pees said. “But I do care.”While the Ravens rank No. 16 in yards allowed, Pees will appreciate that his defense is the NFL’s stingiest in terms of points given up. The Ravens are averaging 14.9 points allowed, which is the best in the NFL.It’s been a combination of a stifling run defense and a relentless pass rush. The Ravens have shut down teams with arguably the NFL’s best cornerback (Jimmy Smith), pass-rusher (Elvis Dumervil, seven sacks) and rookie (linebacker C.J. Mosley)."