Baltimore Ravens who aren’t getting enough credit

CINCINNATI, OHIO - NOVEMBER 10: Chuck Clark #36 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 10, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - NOVEMBER 10: Chuck Clark #36 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 10, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens are winning because they are a team, from top to bottom

Lamar Jackson is getting many of the headlines regarding this red-hot Baltimore Ravens team, and rightfully so. He is a game-changer, who seems as intent on being a team leader as he is on becoming an NFL superstar. But he is not alone in leading this Ravens team to an 8-2 start.

We all know the three-headed monster at tight end, two-way wrecking ball Pat Ricard, the bookend tackles leading the line and the expected excellence of guard Marshal Yanda. Mark Ingram has become a beloved figure in Ravens land in his first season with the team, and Marquise Brown has shown that he is that take-the-top-off-the-defense threat the Ravens have been trying to land since Torrey Smith moved on.

On the defensive side, Eric DeCosta has gotten bouquets thrown his way over in-season signings such as Josh Bynes and L.J. Fort, and the trade for play-making cornerback Marcus Peters. Matt Judon, Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce have also gotten their share of praise this season, and let’s not forget already-established stars like earl Thomas and Marlon Humphrey. This team, fellow fans, is loaded.

But there are also a few guys who have flown relatively under the radar this season, as is often the case with a winning team. I’m talking about those guys who do their jobs week in, and week out, allowing the stars to focus on what they do, thus making the team a well-oiled and dangerous machine. Make no mistake about it — this Ravens team is just that right now.

Here are a few guys who I want to toss some praise to today:

Chuck Clark, safety
When Earl Thomas made his way to Baltimore, he was taken by the intellect of Clark in the defensive back’s meeting room. “I was like, ‘Bro, why would they bring me in when they’ve got you?'” The Virginia Tech product has seemingly been a favorite of coaches since his arrival with the team, and he has been given more playing time each season.

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When starting safety Tony Jefferson went down with a knee injury, Clark got his chance. Actually, he got more than just his chance — the Ravens coaching staff entrusted Clark with wearing the green dot and becoming the defense’s signal-caller. He has nailed the job, and the Ravens defense has improved with Clark on the field.

Bradley Bozeman, guard
There were two often-repeated areas of concern for Ravens fans regarding their offense before the season began — left guard and center. Returning center Matt Skura has certainly outplayed expectations to this point, but Bozeman has absolutely shattered his own expectations from the RavensFlock.

Not really in most conversations regarding the competition for that job during the preseason, Bozeman surprised many by winning the job outright, and he has held on to it from the jump. There have been a few penalties along the way, but his ability to pull has been critical for the Ravens run game, and he has helped solidify that side of the line along with star tackle Ronnie Stanley.

Jaylon Ferguson, SLB
The third-round pick, dubbed “Sack Daddy,” seemed a little out of his element when the season began, and those sacks weren’t coming. In fact, there was very little coming from Ferguson as he couldn’t get on the field. When Pernell McPhee went down with an injury, Ferguson was forced into action, and he has shown steady improvement every game, culminating with his first sack of the season against the Texans. That was a game in which he was a constant presence in the Houston backfield. Ferguson is not just holding down the fort — he appears to be making it his own going forward.

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Tyus Bowser, WLB
We’ve all been waiting for Bowser to realize his potential, and many of us (OK, me) were getting ready to write him off as another day-two bust for the Ravens. But Boswer has been active nearly every time he has been on the field this season, and his two sacks against the Texans pushed him to four for the season. Maybe the cutting of Timmy Williams woke up Bowser, or maybe it just took him and the coaching staff some time to figure it all out for him, but regardless, Bowser, Judon and Ferguson are giving the team a needed boost in the pass-rush department, and right in time for the stretch run of the season.