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Ravens secondary has historic day, sets NFL record in rout of Bengals

All five Ravens starting defensive backs recorded a sack

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens secondary set an NFL record for sacks in their dominant defensive performance against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

The Ravens defensive backs were utterly dominant, recording five sacks (DeShon Elliott, Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Chuck Clark and Marcus Peters), while also recording two forced fumbles (Humphrey and Peters) as well as an interception (Peters). The Ravens secondary was also stout in coverage, allowing only 183 passing yards in their complete annihilation of the Bengals offense. The Bengals amassed over 300 passing yards against each of their previous three opponents, with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow being the first rookie to do so in three consecutive games in NFL history heading into Week 5.

The Ravens defense wasn’t amused, totaling seven total sacks and nine tackles for loss, while forcing three turnovers. Baltimore’s defense found the end zone on a fumble recovery by rookie standout linebacker Patrick Queen, which was caused by a masterful strip from All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey.

The Ravens defense confused Joe Burrow with delayed blitzes off the edge, as well as routinely dropping typical edge defenders into coverage, creating free rushers while taking away Joe Burrow’s hot reads against the blitz.

The Ravens secondary has lived up to the bill, after signing Humphrey and Peters to huge contract extensions, making them the second highest paid cornerback duo in behind Miami’s Byron Jones and Xavien Howard. The ability of the Ravens to blitz any player at any time has been a staple of defensive coordinator ‘Wink’ Martindale’s philosophy. Martindale spoke on his ideal blitz scheme in 2019.

The Ravens also saw rookie Patrick Queen record a sack, as well as a forced fumble and later the beneficiary of Marlon Humphrey’s forced fumble, finding his way to the end zone for his first career touchdown. Queen finished the day with nine tackles, a sack, forced fumble and defensive touchdown. He’s made a strong case for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, notching two sacks, two forced fumbles and a defensive touchdown, while leading the Ravens in tackles. Queen is also Pro Football Focus’ leader in “stop percentage”, recording a stop on over 14% of snaps entering week five, which figures to remain high after another strong performance.

The Ravens defense seems to be clicking on all cylinders after struggling heavily against the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football. Next on their schedule is Carson Wentz and a dysfunctional, banged up offense, before facing their divisional foe, the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 6.