Ravens OLB Tyus Bowser is off to a great start in contract year

Heading into the final year of his rookie contract, Baltimore Ravens’ outside linebacker Tyus Bowser said he wanted to have the best season of his career and help his team win a championship. His personal goal is to register double-digit sacks this season and he logged his first of what he hopes to be many in the Ravens’ season-opening 38-6 rout of the Cleveland Browns in the best game that he’s played since joining the team as a second-round pick out of Houston in 2017 according to defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale.

“I think he played his best game, first of all, since he’s been here,” Martindale said. “He’s another guy who was very active. He was setting the edge in the run game. You saw the sack he had on the fourth-down play with Baker (Mayfield). I’m really proud of Tyus and the attitude he brought to that game. He just needs to keep stacking them now. I thought he played one of the better games of his career.”

In addition to registering the first sack of his fourth season, Bowser finished the game with two total tackles including one for loss and pass deflection. It is no wonder Bower had his best game as Raven since he is coming off the best training camp of his four years with the team and played a career-high 39 snaps on defense, just four fewer than 2019 Pro Bowler and team leader in sacks, Matthew Judon.

His first sack of the season was not only extremely clutch, but it redeemed a gaffe on Bowser’s part from the play before he brought down Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Ravens had just gone up 31-6 and the Browns were trying to answer with a scoring drive of their own. They had driven to Baltimore’s 33-yard line and after an incompletion on third down, Cleveland was facing a fourth and long before Bowser jumped offsides and made it a fourth and manageable (4&4 from 4&9), moving the ball to the Ravens’ 28-yard line.

Sometimes when edge defenders give up free yards in those kinds of situations, they are pulled following the untimely play but Bowser was left in the game to play the do or die down and rewarded the team’s confidence in him and redeemed himself by sacking Mayfield for a 14-yard loss which forced a turnover on downs and effectively ended the Browns promising drive in which they had a pair of passing plays that picked up 20 or more yards.

After struggling to find his footing during the first two years of his career because of entrenched starters ahead of him on the depth chart and the team was experimenting using him in a jack of all trades role, Bowser recorded the second-most sacks on the team in 2019 with a career-high five despite not starting a single game last year.

Bowser recorded three of those sacks after the Ravens’ bye week as be became one of their more active edge rushers down the stretch during their franchise-record 12 game winning streak. He’s off to a much hotter start this season and judging by his increased snap count in the opener, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to add to his sack total and potentially reach both his individual and team goal since Baltimore is poised to be one of the top Superbowl contenders this year.

Last season Bowser’s best game from a production standpoint came against the Houston Texans in a Week 11 matchup in Baltimore. He recorded season highs in total tackles (three), sacks (two), and quarterback hits (two). The Ravens will be headed to the lone star state to take on those very same Texans in Houston where Bowser, a Texas native, played collegiately. He will likely be a little extra motivated to top his best game as Raven per his coach in Week Two in a homecoming of sorts for the fourth-year pro.

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