The Baltimore Ravens lost in more ways than one last Sunday in their game against the Denver Broncos. Not only did they lose on the scoreboard, 19-13, they lost Pro Bowler, defensive anchor, and the franchise’s all time sack leader in Terrell Suggs for the remainder of the 2015 season to an injury to the Achilles Tendon.
In response the Ravens have signed Justin Babin this week to a 1 week contract in order to fill Suggs’ position on the field as the Ravens are preparing for a game against the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.
Babin, who in his own right is a former Pro Bowler, is an 11 year league veteran who has recorded sacks for 7 teams during his time in the league, and was rated the 9th best outside linebacker for a 3-4 defensive scheme last season by Pro Football Focus.
While Babin is certainly no slouch of a player, he is by no means a player the caliber of Terrell Suggs. Not only is Suggs an incredible player in regard to his on the field performance, but he has been the emotional leader of the entire team, not just the defense, since the retirement of eventual Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis.
While Babin fills the roster slot left void by Suggs, it remains unclear who will replace the linebacker as that emotional spark for the Ravens squad. If last week’s game against the Broncos showed anything, it was that emotion is going to need to be a big driving force of a Raven’s team that doesn’t seem as though it will put many points up on the board. Even with Peyton Manning’s subpar performance, they were unable close the gap between offenses.
Without the leadership of Suggs, it will be interesting to see who takes on the motivational role of the team as they look to rebound and get their season back on track as they are favored to win over the Raiders this weekend, with the line set at -6 in the Ravens favor.
This weekend will see Babin’s first look as a Raven, and the first look at the Ravens defense without Suggs, a sight we will be seeing for the rest of the season.