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Unsung Performance from Week 3

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:44 pm    Post subject: Unsung Performance from Week 3 Reply with quote

Unsung Performance from Week 3: Za’Darius Smith While sensational rookie Kenny Young was involved in the most tackles , Terrell Suggs led the team in sacks and Patrick Onwuasor had the only interception in the Ravens win over the Broncos, fourth-year linebacker Za’Darius Smith proved pivotal in disrupting Denver’s quarterback Case Keenum.Drafted in the fourth round out of Kentucky, Smith has started in just nine of the 45 games he has played in during his tenure with Baltimore. Though he did not get the start against Denver, he made his presence known, leading the team with four quarterback hits, doubling his total on the season. Keenum was hit five times in each of his first two games against the Seahawks and the Raiders, both victories. However, in Week 3 , he was taken down nine times, with Smith accounting for over 44.44 percent of those hits.On Sunday, Keenum was sacked three times for a loss of 19 yards, whereas he was only sacked twice through the first two weeks of the season. Smith was responsible for one of those sacks, his second on the year. With Denver leading 14-10 with 1:32 left in the first quarter, Smith sacked Keenum for a seven yard loss on 3rd & 2, forcing a punt.In 2017, Smith recorded just 3.5 sacks over the course of 14 games. At his current pace , he is well positioned to exceed his career-high of 5.5 sacks from his rookie season in 2015.Smith will have a chance to build on his strong performance in prime time, when the Ravens travel to Pittsburgh for Sunday Night Football in Week 4. If he can get to Ben Roethlisberger and make an impact in one of the game’s most hard hitting rivalries, Smith may finally fully emerge out of the shadow of his teammates.Ravens Rookie Report: Week 1 The Baltimore Ravens got off to a great start to 2018 on Sunday, steamrolling the Buffalo Bills 47-3. There were new faces all over the field for Baltimore, including the 2018 rookie class that collectively saw a decent amount of action, especially thanks to the lopsided score early on.So how did they perform? Let’s take a look:Top BillingTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsBaltimore made four selections in the first three rounds of the draft in April, two of which saw significant snaps on Sunday. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, nobody probably would’ve guessed those two players to be Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews.Jackson relieved Joe Flacco after he had already put the game in hand Cheap Maurice Canady Jersey , but Lamar was also mixed in as a weapon early on. Andrews saw his time partially due to Hayden Hurst’s injury leaving them somewhat thin at the position. Both players impressed in different ways.Andrews helped move the chains on his way to three catches for 39 yards on four targets and looked comfortable on the field, which was a bit of a concern throughout the preseason. The gadget plays with Jackson weren’t especially effective but did keep the defense on their heels. Beyond that he looked good after taking over for Flacco, tossing a long completion and finishing second on the team in rushing with 39 yards.The Defensive DuoTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsKenny Young and Anthony Averett are two more players that made their debut on Sunday afternoon. Young was active, chipping in four stops and a sack, while Averett had two tackles of his own.In what was an impressive team performance for the defense, it was great to see some of the more unheralded young talent step up. This is especially true for this crop of rookies led by Young and Averett who have the potential to be starters at some point.The Wild CardPhoto by Patrick Smith/Getty ImagesRotational receiver was one of the more contested battles of the summer, and it ended up being decided partially by special teams value. Rather than keep a player like Breshad Perriman or have Jaleel Scott active this season, Baltimore opted to go with the undrafted Grant thanks to his return ability.On Sunday we saw why , as he raced through Buffalo’s punt coverage unit on his way to a 51-yard return that set up the offense for a touchdown. Hopefully Grant can produce more explosive plays like that down the line, and avoid mistakes such as his muffed punt._________________________________________All in all, this was a solid debut effort for several Ravens rookies. We saw young talent step up in all three phases of the game, which will be necessary throughout the season for a team that fancies itself an AFC contender.A hallmark of a true heavyweight is a deep roster, and Baltimore sure seems to have one right now. That’ll certainly be tested in the coming weeks, but for now it was nice to see some of the rookies showcase their skills in Week 1.
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