Week Six Gradebook: Defense
The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in London 24-16. Here are the grades that I am giving each major category of the defense.
Defensive Line: B
The Ravens defensive line deserved every bit of the credit for this win on Sunday vs the Tennessee Titans. They really enforced their will against the Titans offensive line on Sunday with big performances from Justin Madubuike (2 sacks, 2 TFL, and 4 quarterback hits) and Jadeveon Clowney (2 sacks, 2 TFL, and 4 quarterback hits) leading the way. It seemed as though the Ravens defensive line was playing with a chip on their shoulder. It was constant pressure all day on Ryan Tannehill and Malik Willis. However, after halftime they had trouble stopping the Tennessee rushing game with Derek Henry rushing for 97 yards, averaging 8.1 yards per carry. The B is simply for the defensive line ramping it up this week going after these quarterbacks from Tennessee. But, they played relax in the second half against the run.
Another week, another Patrick Queen and RoQuan Smith master class duo performance. Both of these guys show week in and week out they might be the best linebacker duo in the NFL. Flying over the field playing with speed and making tackles all day. Both combining for 18 tackles and 1 sack (Patrick Queen). Kyle Van Noy making his early season addition to Baltimore Ravens worth it by applying pressure in the backfield and even deflecting a pass. A- is for staying on top of their game again and setting the tone for the game early.
One Player: Geno Stone!!! Let’s start with Geno Stone who is the most talked about player in this secondary the first few weeks of this young season. Geno Stone had the crucial interception Sunday when Tennessee had momentum driving on the Ravens defense. But, he is the guys the Ravens are relying on now with injuries to Marcus Williams and when Kyle Hamilton got ejected. This secondary can play with the best of them but has to be able to play without penalty. DeAndre Hopkins forced two questionable call’s which he was held by Marlon Humphrey and interfered with by Marcus Williams, which I don’t know if the flag should’ve been thrown. This secondary is touted as one of the best in the league when healthy and it showed Sunday as they shut the Titans best Receiver in DeAndre Hopkins. Only having one reception for 20 yards. Something the secondary couldn’t do the week prior. Kyle Hamilton ejection was nothing shy of shocking to football fans across the world. This secondary played for their brother the rest of the game. The B+ is for Shutting down DeAndre Hopkins early after the 2 Early penalties. They have to play a full 60 minutes and get more conditioned to play 60 minutes cause they have a tendency to take plays off because of fatigue or stamina from being on the field way too much.
Special Teams: A+
Justin Tucker saved the day for the Ravens lack of redzone offense on Sunday. Accounting for 18 of the Ravens 24 points. 6/6 on FG attempts. Devin Duvernay showing why he is a pro bowl returner. Almost taking one to the house by was stop by who else: The Kicker! The A+ is for being the bread and butter for the Ravens in a game again where the offense couldn’t convert in the redzone. Not to mention that Harbaugh background is special teams.