Terrell Suggs is back to terrorizing quarterbacks

10/7/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

In 2011, there was no defensive player in the NFL who was more terrifying than Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. The tenth overall pick in 2003, Suggs has lived up to his draft status by earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and making his way to five Pro Bowls. In 2011, however, he took his game to an entirely new level. Suggs racked up 14.0 sacks while picking off two passes and forcing seven fumbles, and he capped off the phenomenal campaign by being named Defensive Player of the Year.

Blog Photo - Terrell Suggs is back to terrorizing quarterbacksThe hype around Suggs was bigger than ever entering the 2012 season, but the excitement came to an abrupt halt when it was announced that he had torn his Achilles tendon and could potentially miss the entire season. Suggs miraculously returned to the field in October - less than six months after his devastating injury - but he was clearly a shell of his 2011 self. He registered just two sacks in eight regular season games, and outside of a monster two-sack performance against the Broncos, he did not make his typical huge impact during the Ravens' Super Bowl run.

Suggs obviously rushed himself back to the field in 2012, and it was ultimately the right thing to do - he did not seriously aggravate his injury, and his mere presence on the field can change a game. However, he was clearly not as effective as he is when fully healthy. With a full offseason to recover and get ready for the 2013 campaign, it was obvious that Suggs would have a shot at returning to All-Pro form, though coming off of major surgery at the age of 30, that return to form was no sure thing.

Fear not, Ravens fans. Through five games of the 2013 season, it looks like Suggs is just about as dominant as ever. He has a sack in each of the Ravens' five games and had 3.0 in Week 5, bringing his total to 7.0 for the year.

In a back and forth contest that required a field goal with 1:46 remaining to win the game, the Ravens needed every bit of Suggs' beastly ability in their 26-23 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Suggs recorded all three of his sacks in the fourth quarter, completely terrorizing Ryan Tannehill at key moments while taking advantage of the Dolphins' biggest weakness - their offensive tackles.

With all their losses on the defensive side of the ball (Lewis, Ellerbe, Kruger, Reed, and Pollard, to name a few), the Ravens really need Suggs to step up and put together a Pro Bowl-caliber season - so far, he has done just that. He is fourth in the NFL in sacks behind only Robert Mathis, Justin Houston, and Mario Williams. He's currently on pace for 22.4 sacks (the record is 22.5). For what it's worth, in 2011, Suggs had ten of his 14.0 sacks after Week 5, and had eight in the second half of the season.
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