The Breakdown: Five Thoughts on Ravens’ Win vs. Panthers
It wasn't pretty, at least offensively, but the Ravens secured their fourth-straight win Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, 13-3, at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens are now 7-3 and remain in first place in the AFC North.
This dominant defense is here to stay.
Think about how far this defense has come since Week 2, when the Miami Dolphins torched it in a shocking fourth-quarter comeback. Baltimore's defense has been improving game by game since then, and we've now reached the point when it's safe to say this unit is not only very much alive, but thriving.
Baltimore's defense gave up season lows in points (3), total yards (205), yards-per-play (3.8), and rushing yards (36), while getting three turnovers and four sacks.
The Ravens are going to face more dangerous offenses and quarterbacks this season, especially if they make it to the postseason, as they're in strong position to do. But the utter domination Baltimore had over Carolina Sunday shows this isn't just a good defense. It's a great defense. The Panthers maybe caught a whiff of the end zone all day, and that was just because it was windy.
The Ravens' inside linebacker duo of Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith has to be the best in the NFL. Marlon Humphrey is having arguably his best season in coverage, and Marcus Peters is his usual feisty self, shown with a clutch strip. The pass rush heat is turning up across the board and second-round rookie David Ojabo is coming soon. The defensive line is mauling in the trenches. Marcus Williams, the biggest offseason addition of all, will return at some point to try to pick up where he left off.
After the game, Humphrey said the Ravens are trying to measure up to classic Baltimore bullies of the past. There's reason to believe this Ravens defense can not only measure up with some of the best units of seasons past, but maybe even surpass them. What would Ryan think of that?