Defense benefits from total team effort

Defense benefits from total team effort
November 12, 2012, 6:30 pm
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Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard in the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

The Ravens have gotten some good games from their offense this year. They've also taken advantage of good work from the defense.

But the big problem is both haven't often come at the same time.

That did happen on Sunday in the 55-20 rout of the Raiders, improving Baltimore's record to 7-2. The Ravens finally were able to benefit from strong performances on both sides of the ball, plus an even better one from special teams.

"The point-scoring and everything else, it’s good to throw 55 on the board or whatever, but at the same time, you’ve got to know when you put that on, you put a target on your back. When you put that on the board and you put that on film, you put a target on your back," said safety Bernard Pollard after Sunday's game when talking to the media. "So, I just think for us, like I said, this is the closest to 60 minutes that we’ve played all year as a team, and we have to build from this. "

The consistency of offense, defense and special teams is something the Ravens have taken advantage of since John Harbaugh arrived on the scene. They've been solid most of the time in all parts of the lineup.

But the defense hasn't found that yet this year. The injuries to players like Ray Lewis, Lardarius Webb and others -- yesterday saw Haloti Ngata and Jimmy Smith out even though they dressed -- really disrupted the lineup on defense.

However, the bye week plus games against weaker teams like the Browns and Raiders helped the defense find its footing a little in recent weeks. Pollard said the Ravens now have to keep doing what they've been doing on defense, in practice and in games, to keep getting wins. 

"We have to stack the weeks as far as practice," he said. "We have to have exceptional practices. We have to. It’s a must for us to play this type of football that we play.”

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