Baltimore Ravens' defense packs punch against Green Bay Packers

By The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 19, 2017 at 7:23 PM
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Baltimore Ravens turned in their third shutout of the season.

Two of those shutouts came in the last three games: Against Miami's Matt Moore in Week 8 and Green Bay's Brett Hundley on Sunday.

Moore and Hundley are backup quarterbacks, and the Ravens' defense dominated.

Now, can the Ravens (5-5) ride that defense and make a run to the playoffs?

"It doesn't mean (expletive) if we don't make the playoffs," said Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who had two sacks and a forced fumble in a 23-0 rout of the Packers. "It's good, but if we don't get in, y'all aren't even going to remember them. Y'all won't remember them.

"It's a good thing to build on, but we've got to keep going. We've got to keep getting these wins. If we win six out of these next seven, we have a good chance of getting in.

"I don't care if we give up 19 points, 35 points. As long as we are winning games, we will take that. We've had shutouts and then we've come back after games and not played so well. We have to build on that.

"I said it before, 'The worst thing in the world is mediocrity.' We don't want to be mediocre. We want to take the next step."

The next step is Monday night at home against Houston, which lost star rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson to a knee injury. Then it's a home game against Detroit's Matthew Stafford and a game at Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger -- two much better quarterbacks than the one they faced Sunday.

Baltimore's defense punished Hundley at every turn.

Green Bay mounted an excellent first drive, only for cornerback Jimmy Smith to make an end-zone interception. The next drive ended with an interception by safety Eric Weddle.

The third drive ended with a strip by outside linebacker Matthew Judon that was recovered by inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor.

Green Bay (5-5) finished with more yards and first downs than Baltimore. But time and again, Baltimore's defense made the big play.

Judon, Suggs and Willie Henry had two sacks apiece and the Ravens finished with five takeaways to hand the Packers their first shutout loss since 2006.

The Packers failed to reach the Ravens' 35-yard line on its final 12 possessions.

"I feel like we covered them really well," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. "We mixed up our coverages. Dean (Pees, the defensive coordinator) called a great game.

"We probably didn't blitz as much as we usually do. We usually are close to 50 percent. But he mixed his coverages; I don't think Brett (Hundley) could ever exactly know what we we're going to do. Our guys were playing so fast and covering so well. It just made it tough on him."

Green Bay's defense played well, too, but the hill was impossibly high to climb. Baltimore had a field-position advantage with the Ravens' average starting point being the 47.

On the first four turnovers, the Packers yielded only three points.

Baltimore started inside Green Bay territory five times and scored only one touchdown -- a 3-yard drive after cornerback Marlon Humphrey's interception late in the fourth quarter.

Green Bay held Alex Collins, who entered the game ranked third in yards per carry, to a 2.5-yard average.

The Packers (5-5) are 1-4 since quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone.

Up next is a trip to Pittsburgh (8-2).

"We definitely didn't do enough," Packers linebacker Blake Martinez said. "Our motto is not letting the other team score more points than us and we allowed that today.

"We made some good plays, we made a lot of adversity stops, held them to field goals or got them off the field, gave our offense a chance, but obviously we didn't do enough.

"We needed more turnovers, more impactful plays to help the offense get going."

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