Judon’s two sacks might hint at fu­ture at OLB

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER - By Ed­ward Lee ed­ward.lee@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­wardLeeSun

EAST RUTHER­FORD, N.J. — The Ravens dropped their fourth con­sec­u­tive game Sun­day but might have glimpsed their fu­ture at out­side line­backer.

With vet­er­ans Ter­rell Suggs (bi­ceps) and Elvis Dumervil (foot) de­ac­ti­vated be­cause of in­juries, the de­fense started Za’Dar­ius Smith and rookie Ka­malei Cor­rea and used rookie Matthew Judon lib­er­ally in Sun­day’s 24-16 loss to the New York Jets at MetLife Sta­dium.

Judon, a fifth-round draft pick who led the NCAA with 21 sacks in 2015 at Di­vi­sion II Grand Val­ley State, had the best per­for­mance of the three, mak­ing three tack­les, in­clud­ing the first two sacks of his ca­reer. Judon was in­ac­tive in losses this month to the Oak­land Raiders and Wash­ing­ton Red­skins.

“I just went out there and played by the game plan,” said Judon, who be­came the first out­side line­backer be­sides Suggs to record a sack for the Ravens this year. “There were some good calls. One of them was a call by [de­fen­sive tackle Timmy Jerni­gan], and the other one was a call by [de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dean Pees] that got me free on the two sacks I had.”

Smith, a fourth-round se­lec­tion in 2015, had three tack­les, hit start­ing Jets quar­ter­back Geno Smith in the first quar­ter and knocked down a third-down screen pass from Ryan Fitz­patrick in the third quar­ter. Smith, who started in Suggs’ place on the right edge of the de­fen­sive front, also was flagged for a late hit on Fitz­patrick later in the quar­ter.

Cor­rea, who started in Dumervil’s spot on the left side, had two tack­les, the first of his ca­reer. Flacco says throw­ing shoul­der is fine: De­spite skip­ping two prac­tices last week and be­ing lim­ited Fri­day, quar­ter­back Joe Flacco started and played all of Sun­day’s game.

Flacco com­pleted56.8 per­cent of his passes for 248 yards and was sacked just once. But his passer rat­ing was a sea­son-low 54.0, he con­nected on just 10 of 22 passes for 48 yards in the sec­ond half, and his streak of throws with­out an in­ter­cep­tion ended at 176 in the third quar­ter when his un­der­thrown pass to wide re­ceiver Bre­shad Per­ri­man was in­ter­cepted by Jets cor­ner­back Buster Skrine.

Af­ter a 22-yard field goal by the Jets’ Nick Folk, Flacco had an­other pass in­ter­cepted when­heover­threwPer­ri­manover­themid­dle. Free safety Mar­cus Gilchrist re­turned the ball to the Ravens 24-yard line, which led to New York’s third and fi­nal touch­down.

Af­ter­ward, Flacco de­clared that his throw­ing shoul­der was fine.

“I felt good,” he said. “My arm felt great. I was a lit­tle bit ner­vous early on in the week just be­cause I wasn’t sure what it was. I was hav­ing a lit­tle bit of trou­ble with it. So I was a lit­tle bit ner­vous early in the week, but when I went in on Thurs­day, I felt pretty good and I felt op­ti­mistic that I was go­ing to be feel­ing ready to go.” More in­juries for Ravens: The Ravens’ in­jury list grew Sun­day.

Af­ter open­ing the game with­out four de­fen­sive starters — Suggs, Dumervil, in­side line­backer C.J. Mosley (ham­string) and cor­ner­back Sha­reece Wright (ham­string) — the unit lost two more: free safety Lar­dar­ius Webb (ham­string) and rookie cor­ner­back Tavon Young ( con­cus­sion).

Webb, who made two tack­les be­fore leav­ing the game, said af­ter­ward that heis OK.

“It was just one play,” he said, adding that he in­tends to play when the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers visit M&TBankS­ta­dium on Nov. 6. “I felt it. Bu­tit’s not bad. I just didn’t want­to­goin and make it worse. So the smarter de­ci­sion was just to come out.”

Mar­que­ston Huff re­placed Webb at safety and had no tack­les.

Young made six tack­les be­fore get­ting hurt in the third quar­ter. Young, who was not per­mit­ted to talk to the me­dia be­cause he is in the con­cus­sion pro­to­col, was re­placed by Jer­raud Pow­ers, who made two tack­les. Other in­ac­tives: In ad­di­tion to Suggs, Dumervil, Mosley and Wright, the team de­ac­ti­vated wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr. (an­kle), right guard Mar­shal Yanda (shoul­der) and rookie left tackle Ron­nie Stan­ley (foot).

Stan­ley’s ab­sence is puz­zling. He fully prac­ticed all three days last week, but he sat out his fourth con­sec­u­tive game. Smith and Yanda missed their sec­ond straight game. Ka­mar Aiken made his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive start for Smith and caught three passes for 55 yards.

The of­fen­sive line con­sisted of rookie Alex Lewis at left tackle, John Urschel at left guard, Jeremy Zut­tah at cen­ter, Ryan Jensen at right guard and Rick Wag­ner at right tackle. Wag­ner sat out last Sun­day’s game be­cause of a thigh in­jury. Moore scores touch­down … on spe­cial teams: Rookie Chris Moore scored a school-record 26 ca­reer touch­downs at Cincin­nati. But he never scored one on spe­cial teams. He did Sun­day for the Ravens.

The wide re­ceiver scored the Ravens’ first touch­down when he re­cov­ered a fum­ble by punter Lach­lan Ed­wards in the end zone with 9:37 left in the first quar­ter.

Com­ing off the left edge of the punt block team, Moore saw the snap from Tan­ner Pur­dum sail through Ed­wards’ hands and pounced on the op­por­tu­nity.

“It was just a blitz play where I was sup­posed to come off the edge,” said Moore, a fourth-round pick. “When I saw the punter muff it, I knew I had to try to get the team the ball. It just so hap­pened that it rolled into the end zone. I landed on top of it, and it was amaz­ing.” Flacco joins Uni­tas: With an 11-yard pass to Per­ri­man early in the sec­ond quar­ter, Flacco eclipsed the 30,000-yard pass­ing mark for his ca­reer. Flacco is the sec­ond quar­ter­back in Bal­ti­more foot­ball his­tory to reach that thresh­old, join­ing for­mer Colts great Johnny Uni­tas (39,768 yards in 17 sea­sons).

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