Paul Kruger: 'Overall, I played pretty solid'

The Baltimore Sun

Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger barreled into the Patriots' backfield to try to corral New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady late in the fourth quarter.

However, Brady spun out of Kruger's grasp instead of being sacked as he threw incomplete to tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Although it wasn't a sterling game for Kruger in a 31-30 win for the Ravens on Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium, he did make some progress in his first game back from a back injury that sidelined him against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"Yeah, I felt good," Kruger said. "My body felt good. I wish I would have made more plays. I was so close a couple of times. At the end, I should have had a sack. It was a huge win for this team. Overall, I played pretty solid."

Kruger recorded three tackles, one for a loss, with one quarterback hit.

Rookie outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw started for the second consecutive week and had four tackles one for a loss.

"It’s more function I really never really talk about the depth chart, because I think it’s all kind of irrelevant in today’s football," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Upshaw starting. "Everybody makes a big deal about who’s starting and who’s not starting, and I just have never,I’ve never thought that had any value because everybody has a role. Courtney has a huge role. Paul has a huge role.

"Courtney was in that package to start the game. So all those guys are, in my mind, they are all starters. If they are on the field, they sure better play like a starter. It’s a positive for Courtney that he’s playing well, but it’s a positive for Paul, too, because Paul played well, too.”  

The Ravens finally were able to stop Brady to get the football back by getting a stop at their own 49-yard line, leading up to rookie Justin Tucker's game-winning 27-yard field goal.

"I felt really good about it," Kruger said. "They were getting the ball out quick and made some good plays at the end. As soon as the defense got together at the end of the game, I felt pretty confident about it.

"[Linebackers coach Ted] Monachino said it best to me, 'We needed every play of that game to win. So many opportunities, and it came down to the wire. Brady is a great player who's done some great things, but this was our night."

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