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Defensive Player Grades: Ravens-Browns Edition

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NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens defense showed its dominance once again as the unit was just feasting on the Cleveland Browns offense all night. The Ravens defense limited the Browns to seven points, 144 total yards and 2/10 on third down. The Ravens defense was just excellent all around and a result, the defense moved to first in the NFL in yards allowed. Let’s take a look at the grades for the Ravens defense.

Linebackers

What more can you say about outside linebacker Terrell Suggs? He is in the middle of his 14th season coming of a torn Achilles injury and he is currently dealing with a torn bicep. Injuries are not stopping him from being able to get by an All-Pro left tackle like Joe Thomas. Suggs had one sack, one forced fumble and disrupted a pass by Browns quarterback Josh McCown that ended up being an interception. Suggs made his presence felt. Suggs’ Grade: A+

C.J. Mosley had an efficient night as his coverage skills still prove to be among the elite at the inside linebacker position. He recorded five tackles on the night and assisted in the run defense department that limited the Browns to just 33 yards on the ground. Mosley’s Grade: A

Inside linebacker Zachary Orr, like Mosley, also assisted in the run department. In the passing game, He played a role in helping limit tight end Gary Barnidge to just one catch for six yards. That can’t go unnoticed as Barnidge had a big day in Baltimore last season with eight catches for 139 yards and a touchdown. Orr’s Grade: A

Other Notables at linebacker: Zadarius Smith, Matt Judon and Albert McClellan are not the pass rusher Elvis Dumervil is when healthy, but they have been very useful in his absence. Zadarius Smith recorded one sack and one forced fumble, McClellan had four tackles on the night and Judon recovered a fumble.

Defensive Line

If Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams doesn’t make it to the Pro Bowl, it would be a shame. This man is the anchor right now in the Ravens front seven. The tone is set up front as the Ravens are currently ranked first in the NFL in run defense allowing just 71.3 yards a game and is tied for first in yards per carry allowed at 3.3. Williams has a lot to do with that. His play against the Browns was no different and even provided a pass rush a couple of times.

Williams’ Grade: A

Timmy Jernigan has emerged as a real player in the Ravens defense and is the best interior pass rusher the team has. Jernigan not only recorded a sack against the Browns which is his fifth on the the year, it is the most amount of sacks he has ever had in a season. Jernigan’s Grade: A

Michael Pierce is a gem for the Ravens and his play on the field makes it even more amazing that he was undrafted free agent. A man at 6-1, weighing 340 pounds shouldn’t be able to move with the quickness he has. Pierce is a perfect compliment to Williams because he provides a pass rush that Williams can’t. He didn’t stuff the box score, but he certainly stuffed the Browns offensive line including a tackle for loss and a batted pass. Pierce’s Grade: A-

Secondary

Cornerback Jimmy Smith is having a Pro Bowl caliber season and if he doesn’t make it even with the pace that he is on, it will only be due to name recognition. He helped limit emerging Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor to just five receptions for 48 yards. Just shut down city. Jimmy Smith’s Grade: A+

Cornerback Tavon Young had an impressive performance helping lock down promising Corey Coleman to just three receptions for 17 yards. Outside of a bad pass interference penalty in the second quarter that helped the Browns on its only scoring drive, Young had a good night. Young’s Grade: B+

Safety Lardarius Webb struggled a bit to begin the season, but he has played well in the last two games. Webb recorded a sack on a nice disguised blitz in the first half and didn’t allow himself to get beat over the top. There’s not a lot you can ask for from a safety. Webb’s grade: A

Safety Eric Weddle, outside of his blown assignment on the touchdown catch made by Seth DeValve in the second quarter, he had a pretty good night. He got an interception at a crucial time in the red zone when the Browns tried to get back into the game and made sure that Pryor and Coleman were limited to short and intermediate routes. Weddle’s Grade: B+

Other notables in the secondary: Cornerback Jerraud Powers recorded an interception which is his first this season off a pass that partially tipped by Suggs.