Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Ravens Notebook: Webb bounces back with best game of season

BALTIMORE - Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb was noticeably dejected after last week's loss to the Browns.
He addressed the media with a hood over his head and spoke softly, usually giving answers that consisted of no more than two or three words.
"Last week kind of had me down," Webb said, "so I worked my butt off in practice this week. I knew I had to get better."
The result was probably Webb's best game this season.
Webb acknowledged that he is still rusty after missing most of last year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and he's struggled at times this season, but he had six pass deflections Sunday, his first interception of the year and helped limit Bengals Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green for most of the first three quarters.
Green had some success late, but it didn't come with Webb in coverage.
"Lardarius played awesome," Baltimore safety James Ihedigbo said.
He was all over the field, making plays in the run game, making aggressive plays on the ball in coverage and pressuring Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton as a blitzer.
He looked as close to his pre-injury form as he has at any point this year, and he acknowledged after the game that he felt he played his best all-around game of the season.
This was also the first game this year that he has moved inside to the slot in sub-packages. He thrived in that role in previous seasons and made some plays from there on Sunday.
"I'm just getting back into the game," Webb said. "I sat out a whole year basically. [I'm] just getting back into that zone, just understanding the game, trusting the game."
CLUTCH CATCH: This has been a tough season for Ravens tight end Ed Dickson.
He'll tell you that.
He has struggled with drops at different points and has seen his role diminish in Baltimore's passing game. But Dickson had three catches Sunday, including one for eight yards in overtime to help set up Justin Tucker's game-winning field goal.
He had just eight catches in Baltimore's first eight games, but he caught three of the four passes he was targeted for on Sunday.
Two produced first downs - the one in overtime and a 14-yard catch-and-run during the fourth quarter.
CLUTCH KICK: Tucker has now made 16 straight field goals since missing two in Week 2.
He made two Sunday, including the game-winner from 46 yards out in overtime.
In the post-game interview room after the game, Ihedigbo hugged Tucker as the two passed by each other and called Tucker, "My hero."
PRESSURE: Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil had a quiet game at Cleveland last week and finished without a tackle, but he made several impactful plays Sunday, leading a pass rush that had consistent pressure on Dalton.
Dumervil had 2.5 of Baltimore's five sacks.
He now has eight sacks this season.
Defensive linemen Arthur Jones and DeAngelo Tyson also had sacks Sunday. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee shared a sack with Dumervil.
"I thought our defensive coaches did a great job of coaching the pass rush lanes," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. He later added, "Our one-on-one pass rushes were really excellent. And then the blitzes were just well timed. We got some good pressure from our nickel, from our linebackers and our free safeties.
"[Defensive coordinator] Dean [Pees] did a good job of mixing up all of the pressures. What makes that work is the coverage behind the pressures, so you can't get a quick throw out. Our guys did a real nice job of that."
BIG PLAYS: Pees and members of the Ravens' defense emphasized throughout the week that they wanted to create more turnovers than what they did through the first eight games.
Baltimore had just 10 takeaways in its first eight games, ranking it just 24th in the NFL in takeaways per game, but it had three Sunday - three interceptions.
Webb had an interception and Ihedigbo had two, the first two of his career and the first two for a Ravens safety this season.
"We just wanted turnovers," Webb said. "That was something we talked about all week, 'Let's get turnovers. If we get turnovers, we can win this game.' And [we] came out and did it."
NO CONCERN: Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, inside linebacker Daryl Smith and left guard A.Q. Shipley all left with injuries for Baltimore Sunday, but all three later returned to the game, and Harbaugh said afterward that he doesn't believe any of the injuries are serious.
Ngata sprained his left knee. Shipley experienced concussion-like symptoms. Smith's injury wasn't disclosed, but he missed time practice time last week because of a thigh injury.