If there's one thing the Ravens excel at under Lamar Jackson, it's jumping out to an early lead and never looking back.
Jackson has 24 wins in his career since becoming the team's starter midway through the 2018 season. Eleven of them have come by at least 15 points and another five have been by at least eight. And most of those comfortable victories have been established early in the game, with the Ravens regularly jumping out to 10 point leads in the first quarter.
While most teams play better from ahead than from behind, the Ravens' newest acquisition is poised to take better advantage of the team's leads more than anyone.
Since entering the league in 2016, Yannick Ngakoue has been the most efficient pass rusher in football when his team has a big league. This fits great in Baltimore, where it's out of the ordinary for the team not to be up big.
So far in 2020, the Ravens have played 417 total defensive snaps. They've held a lead for 315 of them, more than 75% of their total snaps. And of the 102 snaps they haven't been leading, all have come either in the opposing team's first two drives (34) or in the Chiefs loss (68) which looks more and more like an outlier each week.
Even more impressively, of those 315 defensive snaps with a lead, all but 18 have come with the Ravens ahead by at least seven points. Which puts them right in Ngakoue's wheelhouse.
Overall, the Ravens have held a lead for an average of 42:54 per game, an astronomical number and by far the biggest number in football - in fact, you have to go back to 2016 to find another team leading for over 40 minutes per game. And that's been true for two seasons now. The Ravens also led the NFL in the category in 2019, at 38:54.
When a team has a big lead, it's easier for pass rushers to pin their ears back and focus solely on the quarterback. With the Ravens typically nursing a big lead - not to mention the run-stuffers in the middle of their defensive line - Ngakoue won't have to worry about stopping the rush. He can put his energy into what he does best, which is bringing down quarterbacks.
He's the best in football at getting sacks with a big lead, and in Baltimore, he'll enjoy more big leads than anywhere else in the NFL. It's a perfect match.