Ravens starting defense flexed muscles with strong play against Rams

C.J. Mosley’s pregame wish for the Ravens defense to get out of the gate quickly against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night looked prescient.

The first defense was on the field for all three of the Rams’ series in the first quarter and gave up only 5 yards of offense and one first down. The first two possessions featured sacks by outside linebackers Matthew Judon and Terrell Suggs on third down to force punts, and the final two were three-and-outs as the Ravens carried a 23-0 advantage into halftime at M&T Bank Stadium.

“We’re all trying to get our timing right,” said Suggs, who was also credited with a forced fumble when he slapped the ball out of quarterback Sean Mannion’s right hand and out of bounds. “We’re trying to get our chemistry back. We want to start fast and finish fast. This is our first game with all of us playing together. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t terrible. It was a good starting point.”

Mosley said Tuesday that he wanted to see the defense play with intensity from the beginning even if it was only a preseason game.

“We want to start fast,” the three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker said. “We don’t want to start slow. And toward the end of the game or in situational defense, where we’ve been talking about a lot this offseason — two-minute, third-down, backed-up, sudden-change, offensive-turnover — we’ve got to get back out there and try to get a stop. So just those type of things, having that mental toughness and to push through it when you’re tired, that’s what we’ve been talking about the last few days in practice.”

The one caveat is the Rams opened the game with only one of their offensive starters in right guard Jamon Brown. So players such as quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley and wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp were not on the field.

With the sacks by Judon and Suggs, the defense has accumulated six sacks in the past four quarters.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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