Ravens defense still dangerous without Suggs


Ravens defense still dangerous without Suggs

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady is probably not broken up about the fact he won't see Terrell Suggs on Sunday.
But the Patriots quarterback managed his usual diplomatic approach when asked about Suggs this week. He couldn't have been more complimentary of the Ravens linebacker, who's currently relegated to PUP with an Achilles injury.
"You know, their defense, its interesting because over the years theyve lost key players and they fill different guys in and different guys play different roles," Brady said. "He's a phenomenal player and he's been very durable over his career. Weve played him multiple times."
There are plenty of other threats for Brady to worry about, anyway.
"They're still getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback and applying different blitz schemes to get pressure," he said. "Haloti Ngata is almost impossible to block at times. They like to get their safeties involved. They like to get Lardarius Webb involved. Everybody is a blitzer and thats the kind of scheme it is. Therere different playmakers and they know how to use them and they know what they like. Id like to blitz a lot of those guys, too, if I was how good they are at getting to the quarterback."
Bill Belichick also noted Batlimore's defensive turnover. The coach said the influx of contributions from new sources isn't just from rookies like Courtney Upshaw, but from established players who are coming into their own, like Webb.
"They lost Jarret Johnson and Suggs is out, so theyve had to make some changes there at the end of the line of scrimmage, however you want to look at it -- Sam, crash end, rush end, that type of thing. Haloti Ngata has been a big force for them inside and continues to be. Theyre very strong down the middle with Ngata and Ed Reed and Lewis of course.
"There are some new faces, some old faces and some guys that are entering their third, fourth, fifth seasons that are starting to emerge as solid players in their defense. Thats a big turnover like any team though, its not surprising from the last time we went down there and played them as an example, a lot of guys that arent on their defense anymore, but thats true of almost any team if you look five, six years back. But that was a great defense going back to their championship year and most of those players have been replaced; not Ray."
Ah, yes. Ray. Has anyone been more durable?
The 2012 season is No. 17 for Lewis. He's played in 12 or fewer games in just three of them (five in 2002, six in 2005, 12 in 2011). So Lewis is not only featured on the posters kids like Upshaw tacked to the wall and worshipped a decade ago, he's lining up next to Upshaw on defense at age 37.
"Rays smart, very smart, studies hard, very well prepared and he has good physical ability and he has great instincts for the game," said Belichick. "He anticipates well, has great instincts for the feel for the game and timing and anticipation and things like that. Of course, a lot of that is his preparation and film study and experience and so forth, but you put all those things together, I think they all add up."
New England has done the math. No Suggs, no problem? Not even close.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Raiders score on final play for 31-30 win over Chiefs


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Raiders score on final play for 31-30 win over Chiefs

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Wins have been so hard to come by for the Oakland Raiders that it took three tries at the final play for them finally to pull this one out and possibly save their season.

Derek Carr threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on the final play after the game was extended by two straight defensive holding calls and the Raiders snapped a four-game losing streak with a 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

"We didn't give up," Crabtree said. "We got a team full of fighters. We believe. ... No matter how hard the game was, we believed. We came out with the W and I'm excited. It's a good way to win, a great way to win."

With their season on the line following the recent slump, Carr led an 85-yard touchdown drive in the final 2:25 to give the Raiders (3-4) the thrilling comeback in a game they trailed by nine points heading into the fourth quarter.

Carr finished 29 for 52 for 417 yards and three touchdowns, with Amari Cooper catching 11 passes for 210 yards and two of the scores. The Raiders had struggled to get the ball downfield while being held to 17 or fewer points in four straight games but Carr repeatedly beat the Chiefs with deep passes.

"No. 4 kept making plays," coach Jack Del Rio said. "This is a special, special win."

Alex Smith threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns but it wasn't enough for the Chiefs (5-2). They lost consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 11-18, 2015, and had their 12-game winning streak in the AFC West snapped in a thrilling finish.

"I've never been part of a game that came down so dramatic," linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "But, still had a chance to win. Period. Just have to make a play. One play. One play."

The Raiders had an apparent go-ahead touchdown pass to Jared Cook with 18 seconds left overturned when replay ruled he was down at the 1. An offensive pass interference on Crabtree wiped out another touchdown on the next play.

But holding calls on Ron Parker and Eric Murray set the stage for the final play. Carr hit Crabtree in the front corner of the end zone to tie it at 30. Giorgio Tavecchio won it with the extra point , setting off a celebration on a wild night that included Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch getting ejected in the second quarter for shoving an official.

HOT TEMPERS: The game took an odd turn midway through the second quarter after Kansas City's Marcus Peters hit Carr late, angering the Raiders. Offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn confronted Peters and Lynch sprinted off the Oakland sideline to join the fray. Lynch, a close friend of Peters, ended up shoving line judge Julian Mapp and getting ejected . Peters also was called for a personal foul on the play. Lynch congratulated his teammates in the locker room after the game but didn't speak to reporters.

"I was disappointed he ran out because I knew we had a 15-yard penalty and we'd be in good shape," Del Rio said.

LONG DRIVE: After Marquette King pinned the Chiefs at their own 1 with a perfect punt early in the second quarter, Kansas City needed little time to turn the momentum. Smith hit Demarcus Robinson on a 33-yard pass on the first play of the drive. After a short run, Tyreek Hill beat David Amerson for a 64-yard touchdown pass that gave the Chiefs their first 99-yard drive since doing it Dec. 3, 2006, against Cleveland.

DEEP CONNECTION: Carr had not connected on a single deep ball to Amari Cooper all season before the two teamed twice for long TDs in the opening quarter. On the first, Cooper appeared to push Terrance Mitchell but the officials picked up the flag and gave Cooper the 38-yard TD . Later in the quarter Carr and Cooper connected on a 45-yard score, making Cooper the first Raiders receiver with two TD catches in the first quarter since Mervyn Fernandez in 1989.

KICKING WOES: The Raiders were hurt last week when a bad snap by Jon Condo led to a missed extra point by Giorgio Tavecchio in a 17-16 loss to the Chargers. That was Tavecchio's first missed kick of any kind this season but he then had a 53-yarder blocked and missed a 45-yarder wide left in the second quarter. Tavecchio also had a false start on an extra point in the third quarter.


Chiefs: Host Denver on Oct. 30.

Raiders: Visit Buffalo on Oct. 29.