If you're an NFL Quarterback, the matchup against the Ravens is one you'd be circling. A matchup against Baltimore's defense is one that normally ends badly for the opposing QB.
Symptoms of Facing the Ravens Pass Rush May Include:
If you've experienced any of these symptoms, you've probably fallen victim to Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs.
Dumervil and Suggs have teamed up to become one of the best pass-rushing duos in the league, in fact John Clayton named them the third best tag-team in the league. Last year the two combined for 29 sacks, 60 pressures, and 20 QB hits. Between themselves, they have accumulated 10 Pro Bowls, 3 First Team All-Pro selections, Pass Rusher of the Year, and a Defensive Player of the Year award. Suggs averages 8.8 sacks/year, while Dumervil posts an average of 11.25 each season.
What's even scarier is that despite their older ages (33 for Suggs, 31 for Dumervil) the numbers say that these two won't stop terrorizing QBs for a long time.
Take a look at this chart, prepared by CBS Sports Writer Chris Trapasso.
If you'll notice, as the top-tier pass rushers age, their stats (for the most part) don't suddenly fall off a cliff. Even more telling, the top six sackers in NFL history had at least 15-year careers. This sustained longevity is mostly due to the fact that these players rely on excellent footwork and hand usage to get to the QB. Sure, a burst of speed off the line would help, but the best of the best have refined their craft so they get leverage on the lineman, despite being physically mismatched.
If Suggs and Dumervil can maintain their career sack averages into the twilight of their careers, than their numbers could climb up all-time lists.
If he hit the seasonal averages of the men listed above, Suggs could retire at age 37 (when Ray Lewis retired) with 152.3 sacks to his name. Dumvervil would finish with 146 sacks to his name over the same time period.
While lasting until age 37 is grand and all, it's not exactly bound to happen. These players know when their bodies are done with football, and even the seemingly invincible Suggs commented on his age catching up to him.
"We play a different kind of football here [in the AFC North]. We have a different kind of training camp. My 32 might not be the next guy’s 32," Suggs said. "Thirteen years in the NFL is still 13 years in the NFL."
As long as these two want to play, there's a spot for them in Baltimore, especially because they're top-tier talent at a reasonable price. Dumervil has a $4 million base salary in each of the next two seasons and $5 million in 2017. While Suggs is making $16.5 million total over the next four years.
Old age just means more experience, and these two have a lot of it between them, this is Suggs' 13th year, and Dumervil's 9th. It's just another season for these two to continue honing their craft.
So hold off on those AARP cards for now, as these two will continue to terrorize QBs together for years to come.