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Ravens News 12/11: Judon trending up, Mahomes impressed and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Matthew Judon rising to the occasion as key cog in Ravens’ defense - Austin Gayle

Adding a stellar performance against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Judon has now earned a 75.2 overall grade and an 80.2 pass-rush grade in Weeks 8-14 (six games), ranking 22nd and 10th, respectively, among the 66 NFL edge defenders with 200-plus defensive snaps in that seven-week span.

Judon’s improving pass-rush ability is driving his rapid ascent. Recording 24 pressures (10 hurries, eight hits, six sacks) across his 127 pass-rush snaps, Judon’s 18.9 pass-rush win rate and 18.9 pressure percentage rank sixth and second, respectively, among the 69 at his position with at least 100 pass-rush snaps in Weeks 8-14.

On his 47 pass-rush snaps on third and fourth down in that span, Judon recorded 10 total pressures, including three hurries, five hits and two sacks. His 21.3 pressure rate and 23.4 pass-rush win rate ranked third and sixth, respectively. He also recorded the third-highest pressure rate (17.5) across his 80 early down pass-rush snaps in Weeks 8-14, a testament to his ability to win pass-rush snaps on non-passing downs.

In Week 14, outside linebacker was the Ravens best performing position. Matthew Judon, Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith were disruptive in the backfield throughout the game. Judon, selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, is proving to be a small-school steal.

What the Chiefs Said After Their Overtime Win - Ryan Mink

QB Patrick Mahomes

(on whether he felt this was his best game): “Yeah, I mean this defense is really good. They’re the real deal. They did a lot of things like cover zero or if it was exotic blitzes. They really mixed it up. It was like it was a different coverage every single play. When you’re a young quarterback, I haven’t seen some of those things they were doing. I just tried to go out there and make some plays whenever I could. We knew that you weren’t going to score every single drive. I know that’s the expectation every time we go out there, but you can’t get frustrated in order to stay in within the game plan and luckily we came out with the win in the end.”

(on the Ravens’ exotic blitzes): “I think it was a mixture of both. They didn’t want me to be comfortable. They didn’t want me to know what was coming every single play. I felt like sometimes they rushed to get to me and get the sack and other times they tried to just close in the pocket and keep me within the pocket. They had a good game plan that they were going to try and mix it up. It’s easier said than done on defense because you’ve got to have the veteran guys and the talent to execute every single call.”

Coordinator Martindale used an array of blitzes to create three sacks and 15 quarterback hits on Mahomes. The Chiefs went 6-for-16 on third down, well below their 46-percent average.

Baltimore Ravens report card: Grading the overtime loss to the Chiefs - Aaron Kasinitz


What went right

The Ravens averaged 5.1 yards per carry and piled up 198 rushing yards behind quarterback Lamar Jackson and running backs Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon. Jackson also made some timely throws on third downs and in the red zone, tossing two touchdowns for the first time in four career starts. And while the passing game lacked explosiveness, Jackson completed at least two passes to each of Baltimore’s three starting wide receivers and converted a key fourth down.

What went wrong

Jackson was relatively efficient through the air but finished with just 147 passing yards and didn’t have a completion of more than 21 yards. The Chiefs also sacked him three times and stripped him of the ball once, leading to a late turnover. Though the Ravens found the end zone twice in the second half, they failed to piece together scoring drives when they most needed them — at the end of the fourth quarter and overtime.

Kenneth Dixon ran with vision, burst, power and balance in route to 59 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. The third-year tailback from Louisiana Tech is under contract through the 2019 season.