The Baltimore Ravens are a franchise who pride themselves on playing good defense and getting to the quarterback in critical situations.
After Sunday night’s game in Heinz field against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they would be wise to reassess how much they are currently living up to that reputation.
The pass rush led by Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil registered no sacks, and when they did manage to get pressure, it was nullified by Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s his ability to escape the pocket and get rid of the ball. Roethlisberger has always had a penchant for doing this, so it shouldn't be any surprise he had some success playing his backyard brand of football against the Ravens.
However, to not manage any pressure is the kiss of death against a good offense like Pittsburgh, and is made worse by the fact that the Ravens picked off Roethlisberger twice and scored 27 points. This was a game the Ravens absolutely should have won, but instead the Ravens miss the postseason yet again because of their defensive shortcomings in this game.
It’s tough to tell how they are going to fix the pass rushing unit as Suggs and Dumveril are both getting older, and some of the younger draft picks who were supposed to be able to supplement their presence haven't quite panned out yet.
While we won't know how they plan to get more firepower in their front seven for a few more months, it is certainly one of many things to keep an eye on in the Ravens 2017 offseason, which has in effect, begun.