Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs proved again on Sunday that it’s a risky business betting against a special player when he sets his mind to something.
He said months ago that he would return earlier than prescribed from Achilles tendon surgery, and he did just that against the Houston Texans. It’s still fair to debate whether returning before the bye week was the smartest thing to do on the heel (see what I did there) of such a serious injury, but Suggs did it and played surprisingly well under the circumstances.
In fact, that probably took some of the sting out of the one-sided loss to the Texans, who waited out a couple of unproductive possessions and spotted the Ravens three points before running roughshod over them to improve the best record in the AFC to 6-1.
Houston might be the best team in the NFL right now – and they just grabbed the tie-breaker for home-field advantage if they meet the Ravens in the playoffs with identical regular season records – so the Ravens and their fans shouldn’t lose too much sleep over a loss Baltimore could afford better than any other team in the AFC.
Now, they get two weeks to prepare for a road game against the lowly Browns and then come back home to play the Raiders. They’ve got an excellent chance to be 7-2 three weeks from now while the rest of the conference (except the Texans) continues to make good on Commissioner Roger Goodell’s dream of near-total parity in the NFL.
The Ravens have some things to fix and some players to bandage up, but the return of Suggs goes a long way toward softening the loss of Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb. He now becomes the emotional leader of the defense and he only figures to get stronger and quicker as he works his way into optimum game shape.