17th in total yards given up
17th in passing yards given up
20th in rushing yards given up
23rd in rushing TDs given up
7th in 3rd down conversation saved them
tied for 12th in points given uo
For what it's worth the Ravens defense was statistically better without Ray Lewis and you could see him missing plays. Ed Reed isn't what he was. Suggs was hurt. Their defense was bottom half of the league in yards. They got run all over early in the year. Their defense wasn't that good last year, they relied more on their name and past defenses. In the playoffs they apparently "knew" Tom Brady's audibles and have a good record vs the Pats.
D Line: Arthur Jones, Ngata, C. Canty
Marcus Spears, Terrance Cody and rookie Brandon Williams on the bench. Very solid 3-4 D-Line with excellent depth.
Linebackers: T. Suggs, Darryl Smith, 2nd round draft pick A. Brown and Elvis Dummerville
That's a very solid LB core and probably better than last year considering Lewis/Suggs were hurt. Elvis is better than Kroeger, the rookie will probably be a step down from ellerby. Suggs is back and Smith will be better than Lewis at this point in their careers.
Secondary: L Webb, M. Huff. 1st round pick Matt Elam, and Corey Graham
There is no way this defense finishes in the bottom half of the league. This is a top 10 defense. That LB core is sick, Suggs and Dummerville on opposite ends. Canty and Ngata pushing up the middle.
Cut the crap about "lack of leadership". Joe Flacco came out today and said that 90% of the time he had no idea what Ray Lewis was saying in his pep talks anyway. If you think those pre game speeches matter they don't. Those pre game rituals are for the TV cameras only. Those speeches have a 0 to 1% impact on the game. The real "leadership" that matters is teaching guys how to practice, lift, how to conduct themselves. Guys like Darryl Smith know how to do that.
The Ravens defense is going to be better this year. Top 10 defense with something to prove.