Ravens rookie ILB Patrick Queen wins AFC Defensive Player of the Week
After having his best game of the season to date in Week Six in the Baltimore Ravens’ commanding 27-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, rookie inside linebacker Patrick Queen was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week
The Ravens were hoping they were getting a Day 1 plug and play starter and an immediate difference-maker on defense when they selected the former LSU standout 28th overall pick in April’s draft.
Through the first six games of the 2020 season, aside from a hiccup in Week Three against the Kansas City Chiefs when the whole team was off their game, Queen hasn’t not only lived up to but has exceeded expectations.
Against the Bengals and his former college teammate, Joe Burrow, he was the most disruptive player on a defense that bruised, battered, and baffled the first overall all afternoon long. He led the team with six solo tackles and tied for the team lead with nine total and made a number of other plays.
On Cincinnati’s first offensive drive of the second quarter, Queen pulled off the hat trick when he came charging into the backfield on a blitz. He chased Burrow down from behind to deliver a crushing blow that gave him his second sack and forced fumble of the season and then he fell on the ball for the first of his two fumble recoveries of the game and the season.
His second fumble recovery came in the fourth quarter when First-Team All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey used his signature punchout to dislodge the ball from Bengals’ receiver Mike Thomas that Queen scooped up and returned 53 yards to score his first career touchdown, the defense’s second of the season and put the nail in the coffin of any hopes of a comeback for Cincinnati.
Queen leads the Ravens in total tackles with 42 which is ninth-most in the league, second among all rookies, and his 29 solo tackles lead all first-year defenders and are tied for the fifth-most in the entire league. He also has four tackles for loss and three quarterback hits through six games as well.
Since the team suffered their first and only loss of the season at the hands of the defending Superbowl champions on Monday Night Football two weeks ago where he was benched for a time in the 34-20 defeat, Queen has bounced back with his best two games of the year where he’s logged half of his total number of tackles.
“We bounced back from a few weeks ago that we lost,” Queen said. “We’ve just been coming to work every day trying to get better. As long as we keep taking those steps, we’re going to keep stacking these weeks together.”
His transition to the NFL has been a nearly seamless one and is quite astonishing and a testament to both his talent, intelligence, and instincts considering he was just a one-year starter in college and was robbed of his first offseason due to the coronavirus.
The Ravens’ defense in the top-ranked unit in the league, has allowed the fewest points through the first six games and yielded a league-low average of 15.2 points per game. Queen has been an integral part of making all of that happen from his MIKE linebacker spot.
He should be the leading candidate to win the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year of 2020 which would be the first time a Raven has won the award since Terrell Suggs in 2003 and would be the third player in franchise history to bring home the hardware.