Saturday, September 28, 2013
An impressive streak for Marshal Yanda
By Jamison Hensley
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Everyone knows the Baltimore Ravens' defense hasn't allowed a touchdown in two games. But there's a more remarkable streak on this team.
Right guard Marshal Yanda hasn't allowed a sack in 22 straight games, according to Pro Football Focus. It's the longest current streak for a guard. The next closest one is held by New Orleans' Jahri Evans, who hasn't given up a sack in 18 consecutive games.
It's an accomplishment that would impress most people, except Yanda himself. Asked if he could remember the last time he gave up a sack, Yanda said, "I don't get into all of that stuff."
Yanda is quick to point out that he's been far from perfect and gets just as upset when he allows a quarterback hit. What makes Yanda one of the best guards in the league is the fact that he doesn't make too many critical mistakes. He also has a streak of 10 games without a penalty.
"As an offensive lineman, you want to be the least recognized player out on the field on Sunday," Yanda said. "You don't want your name called. You don't want penalties. You don't want sacks. That's how the naked eye sees offensive lineman. It's penalties and sacks."
To put this in perspective, the Ravens' other linemen have allowed a total of 33 sacks during Yanda's streak.
Yanda will likely line up against Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, who has 12 sacks in three seasons. There will be times when he will face Kyle Williams, who had five sacks last season and one this season.
The three toughest linemen Yanda said he's faced are: J.J. Watt, Geno Atkins and Vince Wilfork. Yanda didn't give up a sack to Watt last Sunday.
"It's one of those games where you understand that you're playing one of the best players, and you definitely want to have a good game and try to do your job as best as you can," Yanda said. "He's a great player, but you love those games. I think it's what you look forward to as a player."
I later pointed out to Yanda that the last time he allowed a sack was January 15, 2012, in a divisional playoff game at Houston. It suddenly hit Yanda that it was Watt who last beat him.
"Thanks for reminding me of that, buddy," Yanda said with a smile.