Paul Kruger said defense spent time this week practicing trying to tip passes. Well, practice made perfect on Sunday.
The Ravens tipped six Carson Palmer passes, one of which Kruger turned into an interception that set up a second-quarter field goal as Baltimore rolled to an easy 55-20 victory over Oakland Sunday afternoon.
Palmer has torched the Ravens before during his days with the Bengals and made a lot of good plays in this game, completing 29 of 45 for 368 yards plus two touchdowns. But the Ravens did a good job of pressuring him and making life tougher. The front line really worked at jumping up and getting in Palmer's face, tipping those six balls to ruin those plays.
"Six tipped balls," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "That is something that has been an emphasis for our [defensive] front going forward. I thought those guys did a real nice job in that."
Terrell Suggs again played well, and he knocked two balls away, destroying a swing pass Palmer was trying to throw. Kruger deflected a Palmer pass into the air and caught it for an interception in the second quarter which led to a field goal and a 20-3 lead.
Kruger talked about how defensive coordinator Dean Pees also had been pushing the importance of trying to knock passes down.
"It's something Dean Pees has been harping on us all week," Kruger said. "We've been practicing it. It's a credit to the coaches, to just [make] sure we had all the little things in our minds. That really paid off today."
Kruger had a good game all the way around, finishing with two sacks and six tackles -- although one of the sacks came when Palmer tripped and fell while the Raiders were going for it on fourth down in the first quarter -- as the Ravens had players flying all over the place throughout the game.
The defense turned in a solid performance that they can use to feel better heading to Pittsburgh next week.
"Having a victory like this is a huge motivator and confidence boost," he said. "Big win today."