No trade in the Baltimore Ravens’ recent history stands out as much as the Roquan Smith acquisition as Smith starred yet again in Week 14’s win.
Baltimore traded for Smith in late October just before the deadline, and Smith has already made a resounding impact in the Ravens’ defense. The All-Pro inside linebacker played some of his best football with the Chicago Bears, but his trade was ultimately beneficial for both sides as Smith likely wanted to play for a more competitive team and the Bears probably weren’t going to extend him next offseason.
When Smith landed in Baltimore, he fit seamlessly into Mike Macdonald’s scheme and has been playing nearly 100 percent of defensive snaps for the past four games.
Since the Smith trade, the Ravens are 4-1 and seem to have a much more organized pass and run defense.
Roquan Smith notched the first interception of the Steelers game in Week 14, smartly picking off quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s pass to Pat Freiermuth. Smith and Trubisky actually used to be teammates on the Bears, so having Smith in this divisional matchup handsomely paid off for Baltimore.
Ravens extending Roquan Smith next offseason is a no-brainer
Critiqued at times for missed tackles, Smith has taken his game to the next level in Baltimore, working in tandem with breakout star Patrick Queen to dominate the middle of the field.
In five games with the Ravens, Smith has two sacks, two passes defended, and one interception. The Ravens haven’t had to face an offensive juggernaut like the Cincinnati Bengals yet (Week 18 should be a thriller), yet the defense has played well enough to edge out a win in crucial games.
With Lamar Jackson potentially out for the next few weeks, Baltimore knows it has only a slim margin for error, and Smith has singlehandedly helped the Ravens limit their mistakes on the defensive side of the ball.
The Ravens will play the Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons, and the Pittsburgh Steelers next, all teams who could generate surprises in their respective offenses. With Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen playing at an elite level, Baltimore should nonetheless keep a tight defense and secure another gritty win if needed.
Smith in a Ravens uniform just makes sense, and there should be no doubt about whether the Ravens will extend the linebacker after this season.