3 big things from Baltimore Ravens 47-42 win over Browns
2. Is this Ravens defense good or bad?
Baltimore Ravens fans are in a weird spot. What they’ve almost always known is stingy defense and chippy winning. When Lamar Jackson won the MVP award last season fans started to enjoy being spoiled by a great offense. The offense is starting to pick things up to 2019 levels. The defense? What is this defense?
What is it? It’s an amoeba and it makes as much sense as a bad dream you can barely remember. One week it’s amazing. One week it gives a great effort but gives up in the fourth quarter. One week it’s okay. One week it’s literally the most frustrating unit in the NFL. The defense just got torched and the purple and black got away with it.
Let’s dissect this. The defensive line is fairly impressive, especially when the linemen are all healthy. It still doesn’t get you the kind of pass rush you want, but it sure is sturdy. The linebacker play is hit or miss. That’s to be expected when you have two rookies at inside linebacker, L.J. Fort and Chris Board. The middle of the defense is really the biggest culprit for the inconsistency of this defensive unit. When they’re on they’re on though, so take it as it comes.
The pass rush isn’t there. It’s just not to be found. It comes out against bad teams and it hides the rest of the time. When you get to the playoffs, this pass rush doesn’t feel like it’s enough. The secondary is pretty great in terms of talent yet the results are inconsistent.
I’ll take the personnel the Ravens have in the back end any day of the week (and in this season it could be any day of the week). You would have to think that with better pass rush comes better play from the secondary. Don Martindale may feel like he has to impersonate Dean Pees sometimes because the pass rush isn’t getting there enough.
There’s a lot of talent there. The defense laid an egg on Monday Night Football. Now if they got one or two of those fumbles this narrative would have changed a bit. I get that. The talent is there for the most part.
The Ravens just have some players with some NFL growing up to do and a lack of pass rush. If Don Martindale figures it out, the Ravens are a darkhorse team other teams don’t want to see. If he can’t figure it out, the Ravens’ chances take a hit. If Martindale wants to earn chances to become a head coach fixing this mess up could do the trick.