Will the Ravens have a formidable pass rush, after getting just 33 sacks last season, tied for 17th in the NFL?
Sacks are not the only measure of how good a pass rush is, but’s an important stat. Last season, nine of the top 10 teams in sacks made the playoffs.
1. Broncos, 52 sacks – Won AFC West, won Super Bowl
2. Patriots, 49 sacks – Won AFC East
3. Steelers, 48 sacks – AFC wildcard team
4, Chiefs, 47 sacks, AFC wildcard team
5. Texans, 45 sacks, won AFC South
6. Panthers, 44 sacks, won NFC South
7. (tie) Lions, 43 sacks, missed playoffs
7. (tie) Packers, 43 sacks, NFC wildcard team
7. (tie) Vikings, 43 sacks, won NFC North
10. Bengals, 42 sacks, won AFC North
The Ravens loaded up on pass rushers during the offseason, drafting outside linebacker Kamalei Correa in the second round, defensive end Bronson Kaufusi in the third round, defensive end Matt Judon in the fifth round, and signing outside linebacker Victor Ochi as an undrafted free agent.
Losing outside linebacker Terrell Suggs in Week 1 (Achilles injury) last season started a negative ripple effect in the Ravens’ pass rush. Not only did the Ravens lose Suggs’ pass-rushing skills, but Elvis Dumervil saw more double-teams and was forced to play more snaps. Dumervil’s sack total dropped from 17 in 2014 to six last season.
Led by Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, the Broncos’ pass rush was a catalyst during their Super Bowl run, attacking Tom Brady and Cam Newton with fury during the postseason. After finishing 5-11 in 2015, the Ravens are seeking for a bounce-back season that lands them back in the playoffs. Adding young pass rushers is not a bad place to start.