Strong secondary effort in Ravens' win

Strong secondary effort in Ravens' win
November 10, 2013, 9:15 pm
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Ihedigbo grabs two picks, talks Ravens win

(Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)

The secondary has been a source of concern at times for the Ravens this season. They've been up and down and had problems in various areas like coverage-- some games good, some games bad.

But that wasn't the case on Sunday, as the secondary played well consistently and gave the defense a spark as the Ravens pulled out a 20-17 overtime victory over the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium.  

James Ihedigbo led the way with one of his best games ever. The safety picked off two passes and helped Corey Graham chase down Giovani Bernard for an 11-yard loss on a short pass when Cincinnati rolled the dice and went for it on fourth-and-two from the Baltimore 33 on the first possession of overtime. That put the offense in position to need just a short drive for the game-winning field goal.

Ihedigbo also tied for the team lead with nine tackles. In addition, he also rebounded from the final play of regulation, when his deflection on a Hail Mary pass went right to A.J. Green for a game-tying 51-yard touchdown as time ran out. 

"You can't really ever get complacent on the field," Ihedigbo said. "You want to be the guy to make the play. Any time you make a play to help your team, it's awesome."

Coach John Harbaugh lauded Ihedigbo for his efforts and said the play of the whole secondary was a big help.

"Our secondary played tremendously well," Harbaugh said. "I thought the pressure was very good, but our secondary covered a very talented and gifted receiving corps all day. Jimmy Smith, Lardarius [Webb], Matt [Elam], Corey [Graham] -- all the guys. Chykie [Brown] went in there and did a nice job as well, so I'm really proud of the secondary."

Webb added an interception and tied Smith, Graham and Haloti Ngata for third on the team with five tackles. They were extremely aggressive on coverage, did better with tackling and were strong on blitzes that clearly bothered Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton. 

They did a good job of taking away Dalton's passing attack (24-for-51 for 274 yards and two touchdowns). Dalton also got picked off three times, which hurt the Bengals' cause and really helped the Ravens.

And the secondary wants to see more of the same from here. 

"I just told the [defensive backs] we've got to keep getting our hands on the ball," Webb said. "If we keep getting turnovers, then we can keep winning. But, back to the film room."