Ravens: Odafe Oweh showed signs of greatness in NFL debut

Odafe Oweh, Ravens (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Odafe Oweh, Ravens (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

In his NFL debut, Baltimore Ravens rookie Odafe Oweh has silenced his critics…for now.

Oweh had previously been the center of attention as fans wondered if the Penn State product would be able to perform at a high level in his first pro game. After Oweh’s lackluster preseason, those criticisms only grew.

But Oweh showed up in the season opener against the Raiders, notching a sack against Derek Carr along with four quarterback pressures — the most among all rookie defenders in Week 1.

Oweh played in 48 snaps on Monday night, mostly in situational roles so that he wouldn’t get overwhelmed too early.

Sack or no sack, though, Oweh outshined other members of the pass-rushing unit, especially Tyus Bowser whose presence was hardly felt that game.

Justin Houston played the most snaps (56), while Pernell McPhee and Jaylon Ferguson rotated in the edge-rusher position making small impacts.

Oweh had been previously touted as a “guy who’s going to come in and play for us right away,” and watching him out there on the field, you wouldn’t think he was *just* a rookie.

Ravens rookie Odafe Oweh needed to impress in Week 1 — and he did

The “zero-sack” narrative has followed Oweh ever since he failed to sack a quarterback in his final year at Penn State, but head coach John Harbaugh and others know how trivial that statistic can be.

Baltimore is more focused on getting Oweh accustomed to their defensive system and improving the way Oweh learns to read the game. A sack just happens to be a nice caveat.

Oweh’s biggest test comes this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Taking down Patrick Mahomes would sure be something Oweh can immediately phone home and tell his friends about, but the Ravens have a million other things to monitor on the defensive side of the ball if they want to avoid another defeat at the hands of their “Kryptonite.”

Baltimore would much rather Oweh play a solid game for all four quarters than get a sack and call it a day.

Last offseason, the Ravens traded tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to the Chiefs for a number of draft picks, including the pick that ultimately brought Oweh to Baltimore.

Ravens fans should be smiling in secret after hearing Brown had a less-than-stellar debut against the Cleveland Browns, allowing five quarterback pressures that game.

Regardless, we don’t think Harbaugh regrets drafting Oweh at all, and after Oweh’s stellar debut he may be set to play a bigger role in the Ravens’ pass-rushing unit.

Next. Top 5 takeaways from Week 1 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. dark

Come Sunday against the Chiefs, if Odafe Oweh were to wreak havoc against Brown and the rest of Kansas City’s offensive line, well, that would just be a cherry on top of the sweetest “Sunday” ever.