The Baltimore Ravens are sitting at 7-2 halfway through the 2023 season, which is a pleasant surprise in itself. Still, the Ravens could not get to this point if they did not have some pleasant surprises along the way throughout the roster. Who are the individuals who are making things click for the Ravens halfway through this year?
5. The Baltimore Ravens got career years from contract-year players
In the summer before the season there was a lot of talk about the potential contract extensions of two rising players. Patrick Queen and Justin Madubuike were expected to have big contract years, but the biggest surprise has to be Geno Stone.
Stone was not tendered by the Ravens, who let him test the market, but eventually, he came back. Now, he is the glue to the defense and leads the NFL in interceptions. The timing is perfect as he is about to hit the market in free agency.
Madubuike was expected to play well. The Ravens could not get a deal done with him even though he had been improving for three straight years on this defense. When you combine the idea that he has been consistently improving along with playing for a contract this year, it is easy to see Madubuike having his best year. Did you think he would pass his career-high in sacks by the midway point, though? That is a surprise. Did you think he would lead all interior linemen in sacks? More than Aaron Donald and Chris Jones right now? This is something impressive.
Lastly, Patrick Queen has continued his ascent next to Roquan Smith. After the start of his career, it is such a nice note to see Queen holding up right now. These three have made this season much better than expected.