Historically, the Ravens have played well against teams with first-year passers leading the offense.
Rookie quarterbacks are 2-6 — and winless in the playoffs — against the Ravens since John Harbaugh became their coach before the 2008 season.
“I can't tell you any secrets, but we've got a little niche going,” defensive tackle Arthur Jones said. “We definitely have something going that you'll see on Sunday. We've definitely got something going that's positive and been working for us against rookie quarterbacks to isolate them and prevent them from performing at high levels.”
In five seasons under Harbaugh, the Ravens have allowed just two rookies — the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton in 2011 and the Cleveland Browns' Brandon Weeden in September — to throw for more than 300 yards. Dalton and the Washington Redskins' Robert Griffin III are the only first-year quarterbacks to finish a game with more touchdowns than interceptions.
As a whole, rookie quarterbacks have completed 51 percent of their passes, thrown four touchdown passes against 10 interceptions, and combined for a 60.4 passer rating in those eight games against the Ravens.
“Obviously, the Ravens defense has been great,” said Luck, the top overall pick in the 2012 draft. “So I'm sure any quarterback's record against the Ravens isn't so hot. I haven't heard that [2-6] statistic. Obviously, I would hesitate to say that you worry about going up against a great defense like the Ravens, but you definitely have an incredibly healthy respect for what they do and how they can affect games and change the game so quickly. So, it'll be tough for us.”
Still, Luck has been successful in his first season in the NFL. He finished the regular season ranked seventh overall in passing yards (4,374), 10th in completions (339) and 14th in touchdown passes (23), surpassing Griffin in all three categories and the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson, another rookie, in yards and completions.
Luck's “a great quarterback,” defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said. “If you watch, he's doing a lot of great things. Moving around, he's mobile. He's faster than you think, he's bigger than you think and does a lot of really good things.
“Hopefully, we can just try to make him look like a rookie out there instead of a veteran quarterback.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun