Michael Jordan, Don Mattingly, Troy Vincent, David Beckham.
What do they have in common? They’ve all made the number 23 famous.
Elvis Dumervil wants to be added to that list. Not to change his jersey number, but for the rights to an all-time record, one that would lead to a Lombardi trophy as well.
Jan 3, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) celebrates after sacking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (not pictured) in the second quarter during the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Dumervil told The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson last month during Ravens mini-camp that if he reaches 23 sacks, the Ravens will be in the Super Bowl.
Bold prediction. I like it!
23 would be the new single-season sack record in the NFL. A record which is currently held by former New York Giant and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Michael Strahan, at 22.5 sacks.
Nov 3, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Michael Strahan (center) receives his NFL Hall of Fame ring from Harry Carson and Frank Gifford during half time ceremony at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
However, though a year of triumph for Strahan amidst a time of national turmoil, the New York Giants were not the same Giants as they were the previous season.
The Super Bowl contenders struggled versus our own Baltimore Ravens. Their defense was led stoutly by Michael Strahan, but their offense is what ultimately did them in, dashing their hopes of another trophy.
Also on Ebony Bird: Elvis Dumervil may want to change his predictions
The difference between Strahan and the 2001 Giants and Dumervil and the 2015 Ravens? A much better supporting cast, with much better odds in their favor.
Unlike the 2001 Giants, the 2015 Ravens will have a much more productive offense ran by franchise leader Joe Flacco. As well as a strong supporting cast on defense, with several playmakers to keep opposing quarterback’s heads on swivels.
Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Connor Shaw (9) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens linebackers Terrell Suggs (55) and C.J. Mosley (57) and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (97) in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Also, keep in mind who’s on the opposite side of Elvis Dumervil. None other than Terrell Suggs. It would be foolish for any team to not game plan for the Baltimore Sack Exchange.
If teams decide to send extra help to block Dumervil, then they’ll have Suggs, Courtney Upshaw, Daryl Smith, C.J. Mosley, Timmy Jernigan, and Brandon Williams to deal with.
When planning for them both, it’s more likely for Dumervil to hit his mark. Last season was the 2nd time in his career when Doom reached 17 sacks. 6 more isn’t too far fetched at all.
Let’s take a look at Dumervil’s potential victims this season (by Ravens 2015 opponent schedule):
Just a little caveat worth noting – the sum of the average number of times the quarterback of the teams the Ravens will play this season has been sacked is 29.76.
Now guess how many of those teams made improvements to their offensive line this offseason? Only three: the Broncos, Bengals, and Jaguars. So it’s safe to say it will sort of be the same story this upcoming season.
Nov 10, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) jumps over running back Giovani Bernard (25) and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) to record the sack at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The odds are looking very good for Mr. Dumervil. 23 sacks this season for #58 could very well be the precursor to a Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl win.
Counting down the 10 reasons the Ravens will win the 2015 Super Bowl:
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