All afternoon, the Ravens were all over Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden on Sunday. They sacked him five times. They crashed into him seven other times. They chased him out of the pocket on a few occasions. They pressured on him on 18 of his 40 dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus, and I wouldn't be surprised if one of them tackled him on his way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. According to Pro Football Focus, the Ravens blitzed with five or more pass rushers 12 times. They were usually able to generate pressure without extra rushers. But when they did blitz, it was hard to find fault with the results. They sacked Weeden three times on those plays and limited him to 51 passing yards. It was a dominant performance for a Baltimore pass rush that figures to be one of the NFL's best, with outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil blowing by offensive tackles and Haloti Ngata and Chris Canty slipping between interior linemen. The Ravens are tied for fifth in the NFL with eight sacks after Sunday's performance, but one sack in particular will probably linger in Weeden's memory bank. On the first play after the two-minute warning in the first half, the Browns faced third-and-4 as they approached midfield. It was one of just a dozen times that the Ravens defense would blitz the Browns all day, and within 2.5 seconds of the snap, five Ravens defenders buried Weeden. "It started with the crowd," said Dumervil, who has two sacks in two games. "They couldn't hear anything. We call came off the ball and it was like an avalanche. Guys just came from everywhere. I haven't seen it on the film yet, but it happened fast. The pocket collapsed and he had nowhere to go. Great call."
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The Browns, who were leading, 6-0, at the time, sent four receivers into routes on the play. Wide receiver Greg Little was isolated against cornerback Jimmy Smith to the left of the offensive line. Tight end Jordan Cameron was flexed out to the right with wide receivers Davone Bess and Travis Benjamin bunched behind him. The Browns left third-down back Chris Ogbonnaya in the backfield to pass protect. The Ravens responded by putting seven defenders in the box. Dumervil was in a three-point stance across from right tackle Mitchell Schwartz. Suggs was in a three-point stance across from left tackle Joe Thomas. Haloti Ngata manned the nose. Rookie weak-side linebacker Arthur Brown was on the edge outside of Dumervil. Strong-side linebacker Courtney Upshaw was on the opposite side outside of Suggs. At the snap, five of the Ravens in the box surged forward. Ngata and Dumervil slanted right, with Ngata occupying the left guard and the center and Dumervil using his leverage to get underneath right guard Oniel Cousins and knock him back in his tracks. Suggs looped around to the left and attacked the pocket behind Dumervil. Both Upshaw and Brown were able to gain the outside edge on the offensive tackles. Strong-side linebacker Daryl Smith delayed his blitz for half of a second, possibly waiting to see if Ogbonnaya ran out into a route or stayed into block. By the time Smith was moving forward, a lane to Weeden had opened up between the left tackle and guard. Ogbonnaya wasn't able to pick him up because Cousins backpedaled onto his foot, causing him to fall onto his backside without blocking anyone. "We had been putting pressure on them all day," Smith said. "The pocket collapsed and we had great coverage on the back end. We were able to get in there and get the sack. That's what you dream about."
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Each week, blogger Matt Vensel breaks down a critical play, sometimes with the help of Ravens players and coaches, from that week's game. Today, he looks at the five-way sack of Brandon Weeden on Sunday.