Jan 3, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (91) and Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Heinz Field. The Ravens won 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens defense finished 2014 ranked 8th in total offense, spurred by the league’s 4th ranked rush defense. They gave up the 5th most yards through the air, however, which is what ultimately stopped them short of another Super Bowl run.
The Ravens went to great lengths to shore up their defensive backfield this offseason, signing number one corner Jimmy Smith to a big contract and bringing in free agents Kendrick Lewis and Kyle Arrington. With both Smith and Lardarius Webb healthy, this unit is sure to bounce back in 2015.
If they do, this will be a formidable defense once again. The Ravens have two of the very best sack masters in the NFL in outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, along with promising rookie Timmy Jernigan up front. They have a space eater in Brandon Williams at the nose as well.
Add in impressive linebackers C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith, and you’ve got a defense that isn’t going to give up too many yards in 2015. The loss of Haloti Ngata would be tough for any team, but the Ravens have enough pieces in place to compensate for that loss.
Also on Ebony Bird: Ravens success hinges on young defense
The loss of returner Jacoby Jones leaves a hole on the special teams roster, and his spot is currently open for competition. It’s a bit of a consideration if your league factors in return yardage.
The Ravens also have one of the very best kickers in the league in Justin Tucker. If you land him in the last round of your draft, consider yourself lucky as he promises to have another spectacular season.
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