BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 23: Linebacker Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens and teammate safety Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens stand on the field before playing the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium on August 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
With all of the news about the Baltimore Ravens offense rolling up well over 500 yards of total offense, it seems the team's defense might be getting overlooked based off their most recent performance. The Ravens defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 48-17 on Thursday night and both teams starters played well into the third quater, making it as close to a real game that you will see in the preseason.
The Ravens starters totally dominated the Jaguars, not only on offense, where the Ravens put 20 of their 48 points on the board, but on defense as well. While QB Joe Flacco and the other offensive starters were scoring almost at will, the defense held the Jags to a mere field goal over the game's first 45 minutes.
Granted this was the Jacksonville Jaguars offense, not the Detroit Lions or much less the offenses the Ravens will face in the 2012 regular season. However, Other than the tough matchup faced by the Detroit Lions and specifically WR Calvin Johnson, the Ravens defense has been as stingy as always.
Typically willing to bend but not break, the defense may not be putting the type of pressure on the QB that many people would like to see, but the secondary is doing a great job of limiting big plays as the clock winds down to the regular season. Ed Reed is healthy, Bernard Pollard is hitting like he is in mid-season form, and CB Lardarius Webb appears ready to prove he deserved Pro Bowl consideration after not allowing a passing touchdown against him all last season.
Annually one of the top defenses in the league, Baltimore really couldn't care less what happens between the twenty-yard lines. However, once the opponent reaches the Red Zone, the defense stiffens and either forces opponents to settle for field goals or turn the ball over. As long as this team has Ray Lewis in the middle behind Haloti Ngata and in front of Ed Reed, the Ravens defense will continue to be a dominant force and if the offense is as good in the regular season as they looked this past week, the possibilities are endless.