Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil has been a terror for opposing NFL offensive lines this season. After recording 2.5 sacks against the Titans this past Sunday, Dumervil's total for the year is now at 10.5. That ties him for second place with Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin (who had 3.5 Monday night in Philadelphia's thrashing of Carolina). Dumervil and Barwin trail only Kansas City outside linebacker Justin Houston, who has 12.
After a shaky first quarter, the defense made some adjustments and that helped Dumervil get after Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Titans right tackle Michael Oher, a former Ravens lineman, had trouble blocking Dumervil, which allowed the veteran to apply heat on the rookie.
"I knew [Oher] was going to come out and compete," Dumervil said after the game. "I think he did a great job. I really had to fight hard and try to get [to the quarterback]. I've got a tremendous amount of respect for Michael Oher, and it was a tough battle, as always."
A classy response from Dumervil, but not indicative of what transpired from quarters two through four.
Dumervil's best season in terms of sacks came in 2009 when he notched 17 with the Broncos. The average he's on pace for at the moment is 16.8, which puts him in the 16.5-17 range. (Obviously, 16.8 sacks is impossible.)
Dumervil credited his teammates for his successful game against Tennessee. He said if it wasn't for Tennessee being forced to account for other defenders, then he wouldn't have been able to have as good of a day.
"Sacks don't come easy," he said. "You need everybody to do their job, good pressure inside, good coverage, and obviously the offense is giving us the opportunity to rush the passer with the lead. So many things have to go into place for a sack, and that's why they're always so sacred."