When Philip Rivers picked apart the Ravens last year in San Diego, two stats really stood out.
First, Rivers never got sacked in the game. Second, the Chargers never even had to punt. People over-analyze football stats on a regular basis, but it's not hard to figure out the meaning of those two things. The Chargers had the ball a lot, didn't have problems moving it, and the Ravens couldn't stop them.
The Ravens made things different when the two teams met again on Sunday. They sacked Rivers six times and made it tougher for him to throw the ball at times, a big reason they rallied for a 16-13 victory in overtime.
Arthur Jones played a big role in that. He came up with two sacks, his first two this season, and continued his recent stretch of good football. Jones has been coming on of late, something that coach John Harbaugh talked about at his Monday press conference when speaking with the media.
“I’ve just seen in the last three, four weeks, he’s taken a huge leap technique-wise," Harbaugh said. "His feet and his hands are tied together way better now than they were, and that’s a credit to [defensive line coach] Clarence Brooks and to Arthur in just deciding that he wanted to play with great technique. It’s really heartening for a coach to see a guy playing that well and to make the strides that he’s made, and it’s huge for our defense.”
Paul Kruger continued his good work with another sack. His pass-rushing is becoming a force. Terrell Suggs got one also and is showing some his power and force. They showed a lot of that on Sunday, which proved crucial because teams can't just let Rivers sit back there in the pocket and pick them to pieces.
That's what happened last year. The Ravens seemed determined to make sure it wouldn't happen this year.