Considering that Jacoby Brissett had been sacked an NFL-high 49 times after 14 games, the Ravens’ two sacks of the Indianapolis Colts quarterback in Saturday’s 23-16 win at M&T Bank Stadium seemed underwhelming.
Although the defense sits in a five-way tie for seventh place in the league in sacks with 40, outside linebacker Matthew Judon acknowledged that the unit felt as if it had allowed an opportunity to slip through its collective fingers.
“The sacks will come,” he said after Wednesday afternoon’s practice. “There were some things we could have done better in the rush against the Colts. But we’re going to continue to go out there and rush, and we kind of missed a couple sacks on the guy. It is what it is. We’re going to go out there and work.”
The Ravens’ next chance to prove they are quick students will come Sunday in the regular-season finale against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals. Quarterback Andy Dalton has been sacked 38 times, tied with the Washington Redskins’ Kirk Cousins for the sixth-highest total in the NFL.
And Dalton could be working behind a patchwork offensive line that was forced to move Clint Boling from left guard to left tackle, promote Christian Westerman to left guard, and start Eric Winston at right tackle in Sunday’s 26-17 victory over the Detroit Lions.
But defensive tackle Brandon Williams said Dalton is no wallflower in the pocket.
“We know the kind of quarterback that Andy Dalton is,” he said. “He likes to move around the pocket some just to get out and extend plays and sometimes he likes to sit back there. But you never know what you’re going to get until you’re actually on the field. So we’re preparing for everything.”
Judon, who ranks second on the team in sacks with seven, said one of Dalton’s other strengths is his quick release.
“He gets sacked, but he also gets the ball out quick,” Judon said. “So as a rusher, you can’t get frustrated when he gets the ball out quick. You’ve just got to continue to rush him.”
What time is it? It’s game time
A day after coach John Harbaugh publicly aired his misgivings about the NFL pushing Sunday’s game from 1 p.m. to 4:25 p.m., quarterback Joe Flacco said Wednesday that he was unaware of the change until a family member informed him.
“I am showing up to the field and playing a game,” he said. “It is what it is, I do not really care. I will play whenever. That is all we are doing as players anyway. It is showing up and lacing them up when we are supposed to. That is all we can do.”