Baltimore Ravens: 3 things that made no sense about 2020 season
3. Where was the pass rush?
Matthew Judon was the only Ravens player with over five sacks. He had six. In exactly half of the games of the regular-season, Judon didn’t register a sack. The Ravens traded for Yannick Ngakoue who had five sacks this year before he got to Baltimore. Ngakoue had three sacks for the Ravens and two of them were against a very lowly Jacksonville Jaguars team.
On paper, the Ravens should have had more sacks than they had this season. In 2019 the Ravens had 39 sacks. This year they added Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe to the defensive line. This year, they traded for Ngakoue. The Ravens had 37 sacks in the 2020 season. You cannot say that the Ravens didn’t make an effort to increase the explosiveness of their defensive front.
Campbell finished second in sacks for the Ravens. He had four. Campbell only played in 11 games this year, and being banged up didn’t help his production. Campbell surely was a pocket pusher all season and he got more pressure than he did sacks; however, he had three of his four sacks in one game.
Before the Ngakoue trade, the strategy was clearly to build up the defensive line to increase the overall pass rush. Campbell and Wolfe didn’t need to rack up double-digit sacks together for this to work the way that it was intended to. Combining for five sacks just didn’t hit the mark.
Both players, especially Wolfe helped the front seven against the run. Campbell tipped some passes and played solid football. It’s just that adding them and a rookie like Justin Madubuike was supposed to lead to more sacks. It led to two sacks less than the team had a year ago.
It doesn’t make sense how limited the pass-rushing department was for the Baltimore defense. On paper, this was a solid plan. The moves the Ravens made weren’t wasted. They got good play from the players they brought in. To say they got the desired results though would be a lie.