Ravens, Bills both preparing for dangerous pass rushes

OWINGS MILLS - The Ravens' pass rush has had opposing opposing quarterbacks under consistent pressure, with outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil as well as defensive linemen like Haloti Ngata, Arthur Jones and Chris Canty creating problems.
The Buffalo Bills, meanwhile, didn't have a sack last week, but they had nine in their first two games.
Plenty of factors will go into determining the outcome of Sunday's Baltimore-Buffalo game, but how two offensive lines that have struggled at times in pass protection fare against those two pass rushes is one of the more interesting story lines.
"That will be key," Ravens fullback Vonta Leach. "We can get after the quarterback. So can they."
As far as the Bills, Mario Williams is the headliner of the pass rush.
He signed a six-year, $96 million contract with Buffalo last spring and had 10.5 sacks for the Bills last season. He didn't have a sack last week or in Week 1, but he had 4.5 against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.
Buffalo has also gotten sacks from defensive linemen Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus, linebacker Kiko Alonso and safety Da'Norris Searcy.
Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell was also complimentary of Bills outside linebacker Jerry Hughes, who he coached in Indianapolis.
"He is playing well," Caldwell said of Hughes. "You may not see it show up in terms of the statistics at this point, but he's pressuring the quarterback, he's knocking guys back into the quarterback, and he's got speed and quickness. He's creating some problems."
Buffalo had just two quarterback hits against the New York Jets last week, but had three sacks and nine quarterback hits vs. the New England Patriots in Week 1 and six sacks and nine quarterback hits against the Panthers.
"They're an excellent pass rush team," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It starts with Mario Williams obviously. He's still the premier pass rusher that he's always been, just a physical specimen in every way and a polished pass rusher. Marcell is doing a great job inside working guards edge to edge and centers.
"Kyle Williams is also a pass rusher that you can not sleep on. He's done a nice job of either bull-rushing or making people miss. And Jerry Hughes has really come on as a pass rusher. ... There are four very good pass rushers."
Baltimore's offensive line limited a talented Houston Texans pass rush to two sacks and two quarterback hits last week but allowed six sacks and 11 quarterback hits during the Ravens' first two games.
According to Pro Football Focus, Baltimore center Gino Gradkowski and left guard Kelechi Osemele have particularly struggled in pass protection and Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie has allowed eight quarterback hurries, tied for the third-most among starting left tackles in the AFC.
But the Bills' offensive line has had problems of their own.
The Ravens have allowed eight sacks all year. Buffalo's offensive line gave up eight sacks last week alone and will now face a Baltimore pass rush that has had no fewer than three sacks in any of the Ravens' first three games.
Left tackle Cordy Glenn and right tackle Erik Pears are two of Pro Football Focus' highest graded offensive linemen in pass protection - and Glenn has apparently given up just one quarterback hurry thus far - but left guard Colin Brown has allowed 13 quarterback hurries and has by far the lowest grade from PFF in pass protection among guards.
"I think [pass protection] is a concern for anyone that plays against [Baltimore]," Bills coach Doug Marrone said during a conference call. "We have to be up for that task. ... It's always a challenge going against them to be able to protect the passer."

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