No doubt the Ravens offensive line was incredible and the reason for the victory on Sunday, but I believe they are even more valuable. I believe when they play good, or even great, this team will win. When they struggle, this team will struggle. Simple as that.
I understand that goes for just about every team in the NFL, but it deserves repeating, especially for the Ravens. The Ravens rely heavily on five blockers or more to give Joe Flacco time. He’s a quarterback that can make reads, give him the time to complete his progressions and find the open man.
On the offensive line, I want to bring up two names who absolutely balled out.
First and foremost, Ryan Jensen. Seasons ago, he was known by many as the red-haired fiesty lineman with potential. He was raw and people hoped he’d someday put it together. But in 2014, Ryan Jensen took part in a sleep study which diagnosed him with Sleep Apnea. “It really has saved my life and it really did save my career,” Jensen said to The Baltimore Sun’s Ed Lee.
Now, Jensen has a firm grasp on the Ravens center position. His overall play has helped tremendously and the Ravens are thankful for him. Without Jensen, I’m worried where this team would be right now. They were scrambling for anything before hand, even signing former Raven Jeremy Zuttah.
The other player I want to highlight is Ronnie Stanley. The man continues to impress everybody, and his dominant game on Sunday shows the sixth overall selection should never be in question. On 27 pass blocking snaps, Stanley only allowed a single hurry. This was against Bruce Irvin, Mario Edwards Jr. and Khalil Mack, some of the most dangerous pass rush groups in football.
After all the injuries and adversity, the Ravens offensive line is still finding ways to secure wins for the franchise. On their fifth and sixth guards this season, they still bulldozed the Raiders in the fourth quarter and created holes for Javorius Allen and Alex Collins. This was the second game this season where the Ravens secured a big lead and imposed their will with the running game.
If Baltimore’s five man front can keep their blocking up, this team can will win football games. It’s not up to the skill position players, but rather, the biggest and toughest men on the gridiron.