The Baltimore Ravens vaunted linebacking corps won’t be so vaunted in 2012.
After losing Jarrett Johnson to free agency, the hits keep coming to the Ravens front-seven and the latest hit is a significant one, losing 2011 defensive player of the year Terrell Suggs to a torn achilles that is expected to sideline him for the rest of the season.
There’s not a player on that defense who impacts a game more than Suggs who led the Ravens with 14 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 7 forced fumbles in 2011.
This is like Pittsburgh losing Troy Polamalu for the year.
The biggest concern for the Ravens moving forward is the sudden drop they are likely to have in the sack department after recording 48 sacks in 2011.
After Suggs team-high 14 sacks, the next highest sack total on the team was Pernell McPhee who had 6 sacks on the season.
The Ravens will now have to turn to 2nd round pick Courtney Upshaw who will be counted on to make a significant impact from day 1. The rookie OLB has drawn comparisons to LaMarr Woodley.
The Ravens are likely to be in line for a significant drop in splash plays and sacks like the Steelers went through in 2011 when they rarely had OLB’s James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley healthy together at the same time.
Speaking of Pittsburgh, they will be happy not to see Suggs who has 10 sacks and 4 forced fumbles in his last five games vs Pittsburgh.