This is not your father's Baltimore Ravens defense.
Ever since the Ravens franchise moved from Cleveland after the 1995 season, this is an organization built on the single pillar of dominant defense. From the days of Sam Adams and Tony Siragusa, to the current era of Haloti Ngata and Ed Reed, there's never been a serious space of time in which the Ravens haven't turned opposing offenses into mush.
That's already changed this season, and if the rumors are true, Baltimore's defense will take two major hits following the team's 31-29 win over the Dallas Cowboys. According to Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network, the Ravens fear that linebacker Ray Lewis (torn triceps) and cornerback Lardarus Webb (torn ACL) will miss the remainder of the season.
The two players, both of whom are obviously crucial to the Ravens' success, went out at various times in the game and the effect of their absences was obvious. They will each undergo MRIs on Monday, but according to Darlington, the team fears the worst.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed after the game that Webb's prognosis is anything but positive.
"Lardarius doesn't look good right now," the coach said. "It looks like a potential ACL. We've got a problem there, but we'll find out for sure in a little bit. Ray had a tricep -- I don't think it's really bad. We'll see on that."
The Ravens allowed 227 rushing yards to the Cowboys, the most in a single game in franchise history, allowed 481 total yards, and Dallas had the ball on offense for over 40 minutes.
It was perhaps the most atypical result you could expect -- a Ravens victory in which their defense was the problem. It doesn't get any easier for the Ravens -- they face the Houston Texans next week.
"It's not something we're liking right now," Ngata said after the game. "Hopefully we can go back to the drawing board, have a good week of practice and make sure that it doesn't happen next week, because Arian Foster is a great running back."
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