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Opponents' check-down passes might result in Ravens batting down more balls at line of scrimmage

Obvious passing downs give the Ravens defense an opportunity to blitz and apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks. But if the defenders cannot get those coveted sacks, they know their next step is thrusting their hands into the air.

"We're going to apply pressure," outside linebacker Matthew Judon said after the defensive front batted down at least six passes in Saturday night's 13-9 decision over the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium. "If it's short passes and they're trying to check down, we're going to get our hands up and try to tip some balls, and hopefully if those balls are tipped, they can get back to our linebackers or somebody else to where we can pick those balls off. It's not going to be easy throwing check-downs on us because we're going to get our hands up."

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Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs batted two passes, and Judon, nose tackle Carl Davis, defensive end Bronson Kaufusi and rookie outside linebacker Tim Williams knocked down one each.

"I feel like our corners and our safeties were doing a good job locking down, and [the Bills quarterback] was coming down to his second and third receivers, and most of those were check-downs, and when you throw a check-down, it's probably a 5-yard route," Judon said. "So you're not throwing it high. It's kind of a quick bullet. So we're getting our hands up and batting those balls away."

Kaufusi said the coaching staff continues to emphasize a hands-up approach from members of the defensive front while trying to break down the pocket.

"It gets everyone excited because you know that if you can tip that ball, there's always that chance that someone picks it," he said. "I don't think we got any tonight, but you never know. Sometimes those balls get tipped high and they start floating for a long time. The longer that ball is in the air, there's higher chance you're going to pick it off. So we'll just keep trying to do that."

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