AFC North: Terrell Suggs

The Baltimore Ravens are one win away from their third AFC Championship Game in four seasons, and linebacker Terrell Suggs doesn't believe the league wants the Ravens to beat the New England Patriots in Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game.

Suggs didn't elaborate, but he might have been hinting at the league hoping for another Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rematch in the AFC title game or a New England-Seattle showdown in the Super Bowl.

"We all know the matchup the NFL wants to see," Suggs said. "Something for the TV, for the sponsors. We've got faith in ourselves and Ravens Nation, and we'll see if we can disrupt some people's plans."

This isn't the first time that Suggs has insinuated a lack of support from the league. A couple of years ago, he accused NFL commissioner Roger Goodell of having a role in the Super Bowl blackout.

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs has been known as "T-Sizzle" ever since he joined the team in 2003. Now, he's earned a new nickname after his unconventional interception in the AFC wild-card 30-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday.

Suggs is being called the new Thighmaster. (Visual proof of a thighmaster apparatus).

Midway through the fourth quarter, Suggs picked off a Ben Roethlisberger pass by catching it between his knees. The throw went through the hands of running back Ben Tate's hands and went right to Suggs, who let the ball slip through his grasp but was able to hold onto the ball while falling to the ground by pinning it with his legs. It's still unbelievable that Suggs never let the ball hit the ground.

"I knew that Ben had been coming from behind against us for years," Suggs said. "I knew when the play was called to just be patient because he's going to try to make a play. Had I dropped it, ain't no telling what Ben would've done. It was just being in the right place at the right time."

The Ravens scored on the next play to take a 30-15 lead, which proved to be the knockout sequence in the game. It will go down as one of the most memorable plays in Ravens' playoff history, and coach John Harbaugh later called the interception "the greatest catch in the history of football."

"You'll never see a greater catch," Harbaugh said. "We just gave him the game ball for the greatest catch in the history of football. I toss it to him. What happened do you think? He dropped it. He caught the one that mattered. Clutch."

Others took to Twitter and Facebook to laud Suggs for his Thighmaster skills.

ESPN's Trey Wingo was among the first to make the reference on Twitter:



The other amazing part about Suggs' interception is that it's his first since 2011. He had gone 48 games since picking off his last pass.

And his last interception coincidentally came against Roethlisberger. That time, however, he caught the pass with his hands.
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Steelers needed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to play great to beat the Baltimore Ravens without running back Le'Veon Bell.

And maybe that was the problem.

[+] EnlargeBen Roethlisberger
AP Photo/Gene J. PuskarBen Roethlisberger said he didn't play well enough for the Steelers to beat the Ravens.
Roethlisberger threw for 334 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers’ 30-17 loss in an AFC wild-card game. But he also reverted back to the form that had been noticeably absent during the Steelers' four-game winning streak at the end of the rgular-season.

Roethlisberger too often held onto the ball too long against the Ravens, trying to make big plays that rarely materialized against a suspect secondary that has had seven different starting cornerbacks this season.

As a result, the Ravens sacked Roethlisberger five times after the veteran had been dropped just twice in the Steelers’ four previous games combined.

Roethlisberger did not receive great protection from his offensive line. But all five of the Ravens’ sacks came on play in which they rushed just four passers, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

That was the most sacks the Steelers allowed this season against a standard pass rush, and it suggests that there were problems both with protection and with Roethlisberger not getting rid of the ball sooner.

“This is going to sting for awhile,” Roethlisberger said after the Steelers lost their third consecutive postseason game. “I didn’t play well enough to win.”

There were extenuating circumstances to the Roethlisberger-led offense managing just one touchdown after it had scored six in a 43-23 win over the Ravens two months earlier at Heinz Field.

The loss of Bell, who did not play against the Ravens because of a hyperextended right knee, deprived the Steelers of one of the most complete players in the NFL not to mention an All-Pro selection in 2014.

The play that most showed how much the Steelers missed Bell came in the fourth quarter with Pittsburgh trailing 23-15.

Roethlisberger, under duress, attempted a dump pass to newly signed running back Ben Tate. The ball bounced off Tate’s hands and into the arms of diving Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs at the Steelers' 21-yard line.

A play that might have gone for a big gain had Bell played turned into the turnover that effectively sealed the Steelers’ fate.

“I [put] too much heat on the high ball for [Tate]. That’s just something where he’s not used to playing with me,” Roethlisberger said. “I have to know better and get him a better and more catchable ball.”

Roethlisberger admirably shouldered an inordinate amount of blame after the deflating loss even though the Steelers were highly penalized in the game and also allowed Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to get way too comfortable in the pocket.

But when asked if he too much of the loss on himself, especially given the absence of Bell, Roethlisberger said, “I don’t think that I played well enough and feel that it is my fault that we lost the game.”

Observed and heard in the locker room after the Baltimore Ravens' 30-17 win at the Pittsburgh Steelers:
  • Suggs
    Catching the one that mattered: Ravens coach John Harbaugh referred to Terrell Suggs' fourth-quarter interception -- the one he caught between his legs -- as "the greatest catch in the history of football." Harbaugh rewarded Suggs with the game ball and tossed it to him in the locker room. What did Suggs do? He dropped it.
  • Sending them home early: Wide receiver Steve Smith talked about how you see the Terrible Towels on television and you grow up wanting to play in an atmosphere like this one. "To be in it, it was pretty cool," Smith said. "It was also cooler to silence them and see them enter their cars pretty early, too. That was the best part." Fans at Heinz Field started heading to the gates after Joe Flacco's 21-yard touchdown pass made it 30-15 with about eight minutes left in the game.
  • Special win: Suggs has won a lot of playoff games, but he acknowledged this one was special. It's the first time he's beaten the Steelers in the postseason. "Whenever my time is done on the field, they could say I never beat the Steelers in the playoffs. They can't say that now," said Suggs, who was previously 0-2 against Pittsburgh in the postseason. "It was a great achievement, but it's short-lived. We're going to enjoy the plane right home. But we all know who we're dealing with next." That would be another postseason trip to New England.
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has offered scant details about how the running back situation will play out Saturday night when the Baltimore Ravens visit Heinz Field for an AFC wild-card playoff game.

But he did make one thing clear when it comes to rookie scatback Dri Archer blocking outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, whose 16 career sacks of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the most by any player.

Bell
“If I want him to block Suggs then I’m stupid,” Tomlin said.

Beyond Tomlin using a player other than the 5-8, 173-pound Archer to pass protect it is anyone’s guess how the eighth-year coach will employ his running backs against the Ravens.

Le'Veon Bell will start and play extensively if he is healthy enough after hyperextending his right knee last Sunday night.

But Tomlin is preparing for every other scenario in large part because if Bell if able to play there won’t be much division of labor in the backfield.

If Bell doesn’t play -- and the odds of that are pretty high -- Tomlin will have to etch out the running back roles among a pair of rookies, a free agent that the Steelers signed Tuesday afternoon and Will Johnson, a fullback who has lined up more at tight end this season.

Josh Harris, whom the Steelers signed off their practice squad last month, will likely start if Bell does not play against the Ravens, and the speedy Archer will also receive more snaps.

Tomlin said Ben Tate will also be in the mix even though the fourth-year veteran will only practice with the Steelers three times before Saturday night.

Tate, who was released by the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings this season, will learn as much of the offense as he can over the next three days. Tomlin said the abbreviated time for Tate to absorb the offense won’t preclude him from playing significant snaps against the Ravens since he is in football shape.

Johnson could also see playing time as a running back if Bell doesn’t play, Tomlin said.

“When you’re talking about replacing an impact guy like [Bell] it’s not a one-man job,” the eighth-year coach said. “It never is. It’s a multiple-man job and it might be a multiple-man job across positions. It doesn’t necessarily mean we are going to play with a back on third down. It may mean that we play with an additional wideout or an additional tight end. We’re going to turn over all the stones to make sure that we’re prepared to replace his significance.”

As for Bell's chances of playing Saturday night, Tomlin said, “We’re going to do what’s right and we’re not going to be swayed by circumstance.”

Ravens LT Eugene Monroe is doubtful

December, 26, 2014
12/26/14
3:35
PM ET
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe is doubtful with an ankle injury, which could lead to two rookies starting in Sunday's must-win game against the Cleveland Browns.

Monroe
Monroe was injured late in last Sunday's loss at the Houston Texans, and he didn't practice all week. This injury is compounded by the fact the Ravens put right tackle Rick Wagner (foot) on injured reserve this week.

When the Ravens were without both offensive tackles at the end of last Sunday's game, James Hurst played at left tackle, Marshal Yanda moved from right guard to right tackle and John Urschel stepped in at right guard. Hurst and Urschel have combined to start six games in their rookie seasons.

"Both of those guys have done it already and played, been out there. They’ve done it well," coach John Harbaugh said. "It gives us a lot of confidence that they can play very well.”

Harbaugh later added, "We're very confident we’re going to put a good offensive line out there one way or another.”

Linebacker Terrell Suggs (back and thigh) and defensive end Chris Canty (ankle and thigh) both missed practice all week. But they played last Sunday despite missing practice with similar injuries.

Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is listed as questionable with injured ribs. He was added to the injury report Friday after being limited in practice. Toussaint received the second-most snaps at running back last Sunday behind starter Justin Forsett.
» Pro Bowl analysis: AFC | NFC » Complete roster

SELECTIONS

Elvis Dumervil, LB, fourth Pro Bowl selection: His 17 sacks set a Ravens single-season record and ranks third in the NFL. Only Kansas City's Justin Houston (18 sacks) and Houston's J.J. Watt (17.5) have more. He also has seven multisack performances in 2014, bringing his career total to 29, which is tied with DeMarcus Ware for the league’s second-most since 2006.

Who he beat out: Washington Redskins' Ryan Kerrigan didn't make the cut despite ranking fifth with 13.5 sacks.

C.J. Mosley, LB, first Pro Bowl selection: The first Ravens rookie to make the Pro Bowl, Mosley is the NFL’s only player with at least 115 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions this season. His 122 tackles rank seventh in the league and first among rookies. He is considered the favorite to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and would become the first Ravens player to earn that honor since Terrell Suggs in 2003.

Who he beat out: Tampa Bay's Lavonte David ranks second in the NFL with 141 tackles and has forced three fumbles.

Marshal Yanda, G, fourth Pro Bowl selection: He's the highest-ranked offensive lineman by Pro Football Focus. Yanda is a mauling run-blocker and solid pass protector, giving up one sack this season. With Yanda, the Ravens have allowed 18 sacks (second fewest in the NFL) and have averaged 126 yards rushing per game (seventh most in the NFL).

Who he beat out: He's arguably the best lineman in football, so technically he beat out everyone. But Cleveland Browns rookie Joel Bitonio got snubbed after receiving the second-highest grade for a guard.

SNUBS

Justin Forsett, RB: His career season should've been recognized with a Pro Bowl invitation. Forsett ranks first in yards per carry (5.3) and sixth in the NFL in rushing with 1,147 yards. His 14 runs of 20 yards or longer is tied with DeMarco Murray for most in the NFL.

Who he should have beaten out: Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy averages fewer yards per carry (4.1) than Forsett and has scored three fewer touchdowns than him.

Sam Koch, P: He ranks first in the NFL in net average (43.5) and second in gross average (47.4). Koch has also placed 48 percent of his punts inside the 20-yard line, which is fifth-best in the league. That should've been enough to earn him his first Pro Bowl selection.

Who he should have beaten out: Cincinnati's Kevin Huber ranks behind Koch in both average and net average. Huber has three more punts inside the 20-yard line but he has 16 more punts than Koch.

Terrell Suggs, LB: The six-time Pro Bowl player is still among the top all-around linebackers in the game. Suggs is one of seven players with 50-plus tackles and at least 11 sacks.

Who he should have beaten out: Kansas City's Tamba Hali has totaled six sacks (five fewer than Suggs) and 57 tackles (one fewer than Suggs). Suggs is also the highest-ranked run-stopper at outside linebacker by Pro Football Focus, and Hali is No. 28.
video
BALTIMORE -- Nobody talked about the last time the Baltimore Ravens played at M&T Bank Stadium. Even when the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars were one touchdown drive away from a stunning upset Sunday, the Ravens refused to bring up on the sideline about how the defense lost the San Diego game in the final minutes two weeks ago.

"It's kind of like Voldemort, the name we do not mention," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said, alluding to the "Harry Potter" villain. "It's kind of like an unspoken understanding. We're going to put it away, and we did it. Good teams don't make the same mistake twice."

What everyone will be talking about from this ugly and sloppy 20-12 win over the Jaguars is how invaluable their pass rush has become. They improved to 9-5 and moved into the No. 6 seed in the AFC because they sacked rookie quarterback Blake Bortles eight times, one shy of the franchise record. And they remain a half game behind of the first-place Cincinnati Bengals because they nearly recorded as many sacks (four) as completions allowed (five) in the fourth quarter.

The difference between the Ravens collapsing to the Chargers and putting away the Jaguars was the pressure put on the quarterback. The Ravens couldn't get to Philip Rivers late, which allowed their beaten-up secondary to get exposed. When they took turns in throwing Bortles to the ground Sunday, the Jaguars never got within 35 yards of the end zone in the final quarter.

Some will say the Ravens aren't a playoff team after their mistake-filled performance against the two-win Jaguars. The real statement made was how their pass rush can carry the team.

The Ravens' consistent running game faltered. Justin Tucker, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, missed twice. Another cornerback, Asa Jackson, could be lost for the season.

Still, the Ravens took another step toward earning a playoff spot for the sixth time in seven seasons. Five players recorded at least one sack for the Ravens: Suggs (2.5 sacks), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (2), linebacker Pernell McPhee (1.5), linebacker Elvis Dumervil (1) and linebacker C.J. Mosley (1).

The Jaguars did everything they could to steal this win, from an onside kick to a fake punt. The Ravens defense just never allowed Jacksonville to capitalize, holding an opponent out of the end zone for the second time this season on the strength of the relentless pressure. The Ravens delivered 15 hits on Bortles, an average of one every three dropbacks.

The challenge of trying to slow down the Ravens' rush is where to begin. Suggs and Dumervil are charging off the edge. Jernigan, who is filling in for suspended defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, and McPhee are collapsing the middle. You can't chip a running back and double-team everyone.

"A scheme can only take you so far," Suggs said. "At the end of the day, the players got to execute it and it comes down to you've got to beat a guy. And we've got guys that [are] beating a guy."

It's not just competing against the offensive linemen. The secret to the Ravens' pass-rush success is the competition among teammates.

"I think guys are competing more for who has the sack than how many sacks we get," Mosley said.

This starts at the top. Dumervil extended his franchise single-season sacks record to 17, and Suggs trails him by six. This has become a source of motivation for Suggs.

"I'm going to line up every day and try to catch [Dumervil], as you can clearly see," Suggs said. "We've got two left. But if I don't, I'll take two wins. I will gladly do so and finish 11-5. That should be enough to get us in [the playoffs]."

As long as the Ravens' run to the playoffs matches their pursuit of quarterbacks, the Ravens are virtually guaranteed of making the postseason.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs remembers hearing about the top pass-rush duos in the NFL before the season and noticing a glaring omission -- the Baltimore Ravens weren't on it.

Dumervil
Suggs
There were Kansas City's Justin Houston and Tamba Hali; St. Louis' Robert Quinn and Chris Long; Carolina's Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson; Denver's Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware; and New Orleans' Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette.

"I think we got a tremendous amount of disrespect during the offseason," Suggs said. "But I think that’ll probably change come this next offseason.”

It'll likely be a dramatic change. Suggs and Elvis Dumervil have put together a convincing argument that they're the league's best pass rush tandem with 24.5 combined sacks, which ranks first in the NFL. They have more sacks than eight NFL teams this season, including the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dumervil is tied for the NFL lead with 16 sacks, and Suggs is 15th with 8.5. They have combined for 20.5 sacks over the last eight games and each rank in the top 10 in sacks over that stretch.

"When you have a top duo in sacks, it really helps the team overall," Dumervil said. "You have two guys really performing well. He’s been doing a great job. He’s been disruptive on his side. It allows me to have one-on-ones, and vice versa. So, we both can take advantage of one-on-ones. It definitely helps our defense.”

Dumervil and Suggs should have a lot of opportunities to add to their sack totals. The Jaguars have allowed 54 sacks, which is eight more than any team in the league.

"They definitely pose challenges to quarterbacks," Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles said.

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs has grown accustomed to playing alongside defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

Since 2006, Suggs has lined up in 129 games and Ngata has been there for 126 of them. So, Suggs wanted to make sure that Ngata knew he wasn't forgotten Sunday, when the Pro Bowl defensive lineman served the first game of his suspension.

Ngata
Suggs
After sacking Ryan Tannehill on the second play of the second quarter, Suggs did his version of a Tongan war dance called the Haka to honor Ngata. You can see Suggs' celebratory tribute by clicking here.

"I did it for him because it’s the first time I’ve ever lined up without him," said Suggs, who planned on calling Ngata after the game. "I wanted to salute him and let him know that I miss him and we’re going to hold it down until he comes back."

Ngata was suspended last Thursday by the NFL for four games after violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He is eligible to play in the playoffs if the Ravens reach the postseason.

In the Ravens' first game without Ngata, they gave up a 15-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. After that, the Ravens held the Dolphins to 48 yards rushing on 15 carries (a 3.2-yard average).

Suggs wasn't the only one who publicly supported Ngata after the game.

"He's the big guy. His presence is definitely missed," linebacker Elvis Dumervil said. "We're fighting for him to give him an opportunity to come back in the playoffs. We definitely want to see our guy back out there."

This shows how popular Ngata is in the Ravens' locker room. But it can be argued that this support is misplaced considering Ngata's poor judgment put the Ravens in a tough spot in the final month of the regular season.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was humbled to become the latest member in the NFL's 100-sack club, which includes 31 players.

Suggs
Suggs recorded sack No. 101.5 on Monday night when he brought down New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees in the third quarter. He'll need 13 more sacks to crack the top 20 in career sacks.

"It’s definitely flattering, but I still think there’s still work to be done. I still want more. I would like to have another one of those, to be totally honest with you," Suggs said while pointing up to the Super Bowl banner. "It’s good to have 100. You don’t ever hear a guy say, ‘Oh, I want 100 sacks.’ Or do you say, ‘I want to win a Super Bowl.’ Once you have that taste of that, there’s nothing like it. I definitely would like another one of those.”

Here is a breakdown of Suggs' franchise-leading sack total ...

6 -- Active players who have over 100 career sacks (Suggs, Jared Allen, DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers, Robert Mathis and John Abraham)

11.5 -- Times that Suggs has sacked Ben Roethlisberger, which is nearly three times as many as any other quarterback on his list

14 -- Wins by Ravens when Suggs has two or more sacks for a .933 winning percentage (14-1 record)

19.5 -- Sacks against the Pittsburgh Steelers (including playoffs), which is 12.5 more than any other player

25 -- Sacks in December, his most in any month although it's close: September (24.5 sacks), October (24), November (22.5) and January (4.5).

27.5 -- Sacks in the fourth quarter, the 10th most in the NFL since 2003

40.5 -- Sacks that have ended drives

55 -- Sacks that have come at M&T Bank Stadium

57 -- Quarterbacks sacked in Suggs' career, from Tommy Maddox (Suggs' first) to Brees (his most recent)

715 -- Yards lost for offenses as a result of Suggs' sacks, which is about the length of seven football fields
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs missed Wednesday's practice with a foot injury.

Suggs
Suggs had been limited in recent weeks with a neck injury, so this is a new injury. He played 84 percent of the snaps Monday night, which is his normal workload.

It would be surprising to see Suggs miss Sunday's game after seeing him sprint to his media session with reporters. Suggs has also only missed 10 games to injury in his 12-year career.

Slot receiver Michael Campanaro practiced for the first time since injuring his hamstring Oct. 26 at Cincinnati. He was limited along with linebacker Pernell McPhee (shoulder).

Reserve offensive lineman Jah Reid had full participation, less than a month after breaking his hand.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said he's heard "a little something" from the NFL about his hit on Pittsburgh Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount.

Suggs
"But we're going to see," Suggs said Wednesday. "We're going to look into it."

He wouldn't elaborate any further on what the league communicated to him, but it wouldn't be surprising if he received a fine for his low shot. The NFL usually announces its disciplinary action each Friday.

Suggs was flagged 15 yards for unnecessary roughness and drew some critical comments from the Steelers. Linebacker James Harrison indicated it looked like Suggs was trying to hurt Blount, and Blount said Suggs is known for being "a dirty player."

"I don't expect different coming out of there. I think my reputation speaks for itself," Suggs said. "Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I'm just continuing to play football and play physical football the way I know how to."
PITTSBURGH -- The line between physical and dirty football gets blurred when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens lock up in what is the NFL’s most contentious rivalry.

It happened again on Sunday night when the AFC North rivals combined for four penalties that were for unnecessary roughness or roughing the passer and two more that were for a personal foul and a horse-collar tackle.

Suggs
Williams
Blount
The Ravens drew five of those penalties, all of which were called after the first quarter, and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is among those who can expect a FedEx envelope containing a fine notification from the NFL.

Suggs made a dangerous tackle in the third quarter when he dived at the lower body of Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount at the end of a 6-yard run, causing Blount’s body to get bent back at an awkward angle.

Suggs was penalized for unnecessary roughness, and his hit touched off pushing and shoving in a game that had plenty of both.

Suggs said after the Ravens’ 43-23 loss that he was only trying to get the 6-foot, 250-pound Blount on the ground. Even if the NFL doesn’t agree with Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison that it looked like Suggs was trying to injure Blount on the play, it has little choice but to fine the 12-year veteran.

The NFL has gone to considerable lengths to protect players it deems defenseless. Blount was the definition of that when Suggs took aim at his lower body from behind with several Ravens tacklers already driving him back.

Suggs has long epitomized what makes the Ravens-Steelers rivalry such a special one. The six-time Pro Bowler seems to play his best against the Steelers, and his 16.5 career sacks of Ben Roethlisberger are the most any player has sacked the Steelers quarterback.

Few players have moved the needle in the rivalry more than the player known as “T Sizzle.”

Brash and opinionated, Suggs embraces the villain role when the Ravens visit the Steelers, and he loves it when Pittsburgh fans shower him with boos.

He cemented his status as a Ravens player whom Steelers love to hate on Sunday night, but he went about it the wrong way with his hit on Blount. Suggs could have hurt Blount and himself on the play.

He figures to pay for it after the NFL reviews what was not one of Suggs' finer moments in the ongoing Ravens-Steelers border feud.

SPONSORED HEADLINES