Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston gives the Ravens mixed grades in the team's 13-7 win in their opening game of the 2016 season
In his first regular-season game in almost a year, Terrell Suggs recorded one sack and two tackles in the Ravens' 13-7 win against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium. But the outside linebacker conceded that he is still working to improve his physical conditioning after playing in just one quarter during the preseason.
"It's definitely coming," Suggs said after Sunday's game. "First live action in a year, you know. Can't really count the preseason games because I only got a couple series. So this is my first real live action in about a year. So you know I'll just continue to chop wood. You can always get better. It's my first game, and I feel really good about it."
Suggs was on the field for a fair number of repetitions against Buffalo, but he also was spelled frequently by outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (one tackle).
The six-time Pro Bowler had not appeared in a regular-season game since the 2015 season opener against the Denver Broncos, when he suffered a torn left Achilles tendon.
Nose tackle Brandon Williams said the defense was buoyed by Suggs' return.
"Seeing him in the locker room and seeing all of his leadership, it was just great to see," Williams said. "It was great to have all of that excitement and energy that he brings to the team. Having him out there on the defense was great."
Suggs' playful attitude was already in midseason form Sunday. At one point during the first quarter, Suggs ambled over to the Bills sideline to hug coach Rex Ryan, a former Ravens defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Suggs even joked about having to chase Buffalo quarterback and former Raven Tyrod Taylor.
"I just wish my first game wasn't against Tyrod Taylor, to be honest with you," he said. "But, you know, when you face an elusive, athletic quarterback like that and a team that's capable of big plays, you just have to stay the course. But it was a good place to start. We got the 'W' and started off the way we wanted to."