Baltimore Ravens

Ravens OLB Odafe Oweh continues push for Defensive Rookie of the Year with game-changing plays vs. Browns

There must be something in the air whenever the Ravens play on prime-time that turns rookie outside linebacker Odafe Oweh into a menace.

Throughout the season, Oweh has proven to be one of the biggest steals of the 2021 NFL draft. During the Ravens’ messy and chaotic 16-10 victory over the visiting Cleveland Browns on Sunday night, Oweh continued to build his case for Defensive Rookie of the Year.


Oweh brought constant pressure on quarterback Baker Mayfield asthe Browns’ offensive line had no answer for the 6-foot-5, 251-pound linebacker from Penn State.

With 3:17 remaining in the second quarter, Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry took a direct snap and tried to scramble away from pressure, but Oweh came from behind and drilled Landry, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Ravens second-year linebacker Patrick Queen.


“Once I saw that they were doing that weird Wildcat formation, I knew I had to get off on the ball,” Oweh said. “So, I quickly tried to beat my man. Jarvis kind of flowed my way, but once he saw me, he scurried the other way, and that’s when I chased him down, saw the ball and stripped it out.”

Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey said earlier in the season he didn’t know much about Oweh because of his quiet and reserved personality. But whenever Oweh steps on the field, Humphrey sees a monster unleashed.

“It’s been crazy to kind of see him [click] that switch, which I think all the greats do,” Humphrey said. “He had a forced fumble today. I hope he makes a couple more plays, and he’s able to win Defensive Rookie of the Year.”

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The Browns were facing a second-and-10 at the Ravens’ 30-yard line with 53 seconds left in the first half when Oweh beat the right tackle and charged at Mayfield, causing the Browns signal-caller to lose the ball. Oweh recovered the fumble to prevent the Browns from scoring before halftime.

Oweh, who finished with two tackles, a sack and four quarterback pressures, has forced a fumble in each of the Ravens’ three prime-time home games. He had the clutch forced fumble late in the fourth quarter of the home-opening victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, and during their win over the Indianapolis Colts, Oweh rocked quarterback Carson Wentz, causing him to lose the football.

According to NextGen Stats, Oweh has five turnovers caused by pressure, tying him with the Bengals’ Trey Hendrickson and the Cardinals’ Markus Golden for the most in the league. It’s also the most by a rookie in a season in the NextGen Stats era.

Sunday’s win was an impressive victory for the Ravens’ pass rush as a whole. Linebacker Tyus Bowser had four tackles, a sack and three quarterback hits and stopped Browns tight end David Njoku on fourth down to seal the victory. Queen had eight tackles, as he helped the Ravens slow down the league’s best rushing attack.

“The whole group is doing a great job,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “Tyus is probably leading the way a little bit. But Odafe, Justin [Houston], they are all doing tremendously well.”


As much as Oweh’s performance was a testament to an impressive rookie season, the rookie is more pleased about the outlook of the Ravens’ defense.

“We’re just starting to get to come together,” Oweh said. “The crazy part is that’s not even the best we can play. We’re still missing people. We’re still cleaning up the little things, but once we get that figured out, it’s going to be lights out. I’m so proud of the defense. I’m so proud of how we played. I can’t wait for the future.”