The Baltimore Ravens (9-6) rank 26th in the NFL in total offense, and yet they are one win away from a playoff berth.
How is that possible, you ask? One word: defense.
“The defense has pitched three shutouts,” Baltimore’s 105.7 The Fan host Rob Long said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The defense was advertised as being pretty good this year. People started comparing it before the season started to the 2000 defense, which I thought was ridiculous. That was a historically good defense, and I didn’t see any Ray Lewis’s on that team or Rod Woodsons on that team. But I saw some pretty good defenders on that team, and for the most part, they’ve played up to expectations.”
Indeed, the Ravens rank ninth in the league in total defense and fourth in scoring defense (18.1 points per game).
“They had the hiccup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they had the game against the “Jacksonville Jaguars, but the defense has been very good this year,” Long said. “But the defense has been very good this year, very opportunistic forcing turnovers. They could get to the quarterback a little more consistently, but they’ve been able to force turnovers and be very opportunistic. The offense, lately, has been better than it has been earlier in the season . . . but in my opinion what has carried this football team throughout the season, in spite of one or two hiccups, has been that defense forcing turnovers.”
Baltimore can punch its playoff ticket with a home win over the Bengals (6-9) this Sunday. Kickoff is at 4:25 p.m. ET.