The dominant Ravens defense has finally returned to Baltimore

Ravens, Patrick Queen (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Ravens, Patrick Queen (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens have long been a franchise that prides itself on dominant defensive football. Stretching back to the days of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, the Ravens have solidified an identity as a hard-nosed, defensively stout football team.

However, it’s been a while since we’ve seen that dominant defense take center stage and lead the team to a victory. That’s exactly what we saw on Sunday, however.

On a day in which the Ravens’ offense struggled to get anything going against a porous Carolina Panthers defense, the defense stepped up and shut the door, ultimately proving to be the difference-maker.

Yes, the Panthers’ offense is bad. Yes, Baker Mayfield is hardly a world-beater. But what we saw on Sunday was the return to prominence of a Ravens defense that had long been dormant.

The defense carried the Ravens to victory in Week 11

The Ravens’ defense held the Panthers to only three points and just over 200 yards of total offense. Despite a struggling Ravens offense giving the Panthers plenty of chances, they only managed 3.8 yards per play while finishing 3-of-12 on third down.

Three takeaways, four sacks, and a critical fourth-quarter performance were the story of Sunday’s Ravens victory.

The Panthers had four possessions in the fourth quarter. Those four possessions resulted in a fumble, a pair of interceptions, and a fourth-down stop courtesy of a Jason Pierre-Paul sack.

The Ravens, a team that had struggled to put opponents away this season, did exactly that on Sunday. Their offense underperformed. Their usually stout (no pun intended) special teams was inconsistent.

But when it mattered most, the Ravens defense stepped up and shut the door on any potential Carolina comeback attempt. It was a complete, four-quarter performance from the defense — one that showed the potential this unit has.

When they’re firing on all cylinders, this Ravens defense can be one of the best in the league. It can carry them to the postseason and win them games.

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There isn’t a Ray Lewis or a Ed Reed on this team, but Sunday’s performance provided shades of those Ravens defenses of old. Dominant defensive football is back in Baltimore.