After an absolutely smothering performance by Baltimore’s defense in a 26-16 victory over Atlanta, one player stood out in the midst of stellar performances across the secondary.
When the Ravens selected cornerback Marlon Humphrey out of Alabama with the 16th pick in the 2017 draft, many fans questioned the decision when other Alabama products such as O.J. Howard, Jonathan Allen, and Reuben Foster were surprisingly still available. Thirteen weeks into Humphrey’s second year, however, he has become one of the top young corners in the game. This was proven with his performance on Sunday against the Falcons.
Former league MVP Matt Ryan was held to just 131 passing yards against Baltimore, in large part due to Humphrey. Cornerback Jimmy Smith covered Julio Jones for most of the game, shutting him down to a mere two catches for 18 yards, but Humphrey’s zero completions allowed and multiple pass deflections earned him MVP.
Rookie receiver Calvin Ridley was a fan-favorite prospect for the Ravens in the last draft. Humphrey matched up with Ridley on several occasions, effectively taking him out of the game. The video below shows the type of day Humphrey had against Atlanta. On 3rd-and-5, Ryan threw a perfect pass to Ridley, but typical of Humphrey to never give up on a play, he was able to knock the ball out, forcing an incompletion.
This play exemplifies why @marlon_humphrey is a stud. He never gives up on a play. I can’t tell you how many times a receiver seems to have the catch and Marlon knocks it out. I absolutely love the emotion he displays as well. That will get fans fired up every time. #RavensFlock pic.twitter.com/UI5cs1ezSN— Dustin Cox (@_dustincox) December 3, 2018
Humphrey finished the day with two deflections and zero passes allowed on three targets.
Humphrey is one of the most physical corners in the NFL, punching the ball out of receivers hands on a consistent basis. With the Ravens potentially moving on from Smith this offseason, Humphrey playing like a top cornerback is a great sign for the secondary moving forward.