By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
12:43 PM EST, November 22, 2012
Antwan Barnes barreled into the Ravens' backfield last December, bolting past left offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie to repeatedly crash into quarterback Joe Flacco.
Four times the San Diego Chargers' outside linebacker decked Flacco, utilizing his impressive upfield speed to dash past blockers during a 34-14 road loss for Baltimore.
The Ravens had no answers that day for their former fourth-round draft pick that they unloaded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a seventh-round draft pick before he got cut and found a home in San Diego.
Although Barnes' impact has been reduced this season to seven tackles, a sack and two fumble recoveries because of a lingering strained hamstring, the Ravens rightfully regard him as a dangerous pass rusher after his performance last season that earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. He recorded a career-high 11 sacks last season for San Diego.
"Barnes really got after us last year," Ravens running back Ray Rice said. "He’s an elite pass rusher in this league, and you’ve got to know where those guys are at."
Flacco was sacked seven times by San Diego last season.
Barnes' speed, quickness and moves were a huge factor as Flacco threw two interceptions.
"Barnsie went off," Pro Bowl offensive guard Marshal Yanda said. "I won't block him because he's on the edge, but he's a guy when he tweaks his play, when he goes hard, he can really bring the heat off the edge. He's one of those guys that gets off the ball.
"There's no magical formula for stopping him. He had a really good game the last time we played him. We've got to contain him a lot better than we did last time. He's got a lot of speed."