Two seasons ago, I used to do a segment called Who’s Hot, Who’s Not. Each week I will analyze the Baltimore Ravens’ performance to see which players are increasing their values and which ones are not.
This past week, the Ravens played the New York Jets on the road and won to the tune of a 24-9 final. It was a strong performance for many on the team, and it marked a dominant road win.
Moving forward, this game will have a large impact on the future outlook of the team. A few of the players spoken about below are trending up and some are trending down for their season’s outlook.
Justin Madubuike, DL, Ravens (Trending Up)
A year ago, Justin Madubuike was drafted in the third round and was considered a steal by many. A depth piece last year, Madubuike has transitioned into a starting role this year and is a very pivotal piece of the defensive line rotation.
He was lauded for his disruptive ability in college and last year displayed some flashes despite his limited role. What we have seen thus far, though, has been impressive.
Madubuike was on the field for 51 percent of the Ravens’ defensive snaps, second-most among defensive linemen on the team. He even topped Calais Campbell in snaps, and after the game, Campbell said to reporters that “(Madubuike) was an All-Pro level player today.” In the game, he had five tackles, one tackle for loss, a half a sack, and a QB hit.
The performance was impressive and the stats do not even show the whole picture. Madubuike was a constant force in the backfield and was a handful to deal with for many of the Jets’ interior offensive linemen. He made his presence felt from the very beginning of the game.
Displaying an array of pass-rushing moves, he showed his versatility with stout run defense as well. This is a guy to keep your eye on throughout the season as a breakout player on the rise.