as pay dividends in the defensive backfield?" />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesBaltimore Beatdown homepageHorizontal - WhiteBaltimore Beatdowna Baltimore Ravens communityFollow Baltimore Beatdown online:Follow Baltimore Beatdown on TwitterFollow Baltimore Beatdown on FacebookFollow Baltimore Beatdown on InstagramLog in or sign upLog InSign UpSite searchSearchSearchBaltimore Beatdown main menuPodcastFilm ReviewFanpostsFanshotsRavensAboutOddsCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 321 blogs on Horizontal - WhitePodcast Film Review Fanposts Fanshots Ravens StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Ravens ReportYahoo Ravens Depth ChartYahoo Ravens TransactionsYahoo Ravens PhotosAbout Odds Community Guidelines StubHub ✕2019 season bold predictions: Safety New Stitched James Hurst Jersey ,18commentsWill replacing Eric Weddle with Earl Thomas pay dividends in the defensive backfield? EDTThe safety position has long been an area of strength for the Ravens and next season figures to be no different. After releasing three-year starter Eric Weddle, Baltimore found the best possible replacement with Earl Thomas. Going on age 30, Thomas has six Pro Bowl nods and three first-team All-Pro selections under his belt. He’s a perfect fit for Don Martindale’s defense and is, in the eyes of many, the closest thing to Ed Reed the league has seen since Reed’s retirement. Eslewhere, the main safety core from last sesaon remains intact, including SS starter Tony Jefferson, Anthony Levine Sr., Chuck Clark, and DeShon Elliott, the latter of which missed all of last season after suffering a broken forearm in the preseason. Tony Jefferson records 100+ tackles In his two seasons with Baltimore Youth James Hurst Jersey , it feels like Tony Jefferson has yet to truly assert himself and reach his full potential. While he’s been a source of impact plays, Jefferson’s strong run-stopping and tackling skills have been somewhat mitigated by struggles in pass coverage. However, entering his 7th career season, Jefferson appears primed for his best performance yet. Having Earl Thomas roaming in the secondary will allow Jefferson to play closer to the line of scrimmage, where he’s at his best. The Ravens lost their leading tackler, C.J. Mosley, in free agency. Jefferson had 74 tackles last year and 96 tackles in his last season with the Cardinals in 2016. Playing in more of a box safety role will give Jefferson more opportunities to utilize his pursuit and nose for the ball. Earl Thomas wins Comeback Player of the YearMore often than not, this award is given to an offensive player, usually a quarterback or one of the skill position players. However, Earl Thomas a great chance to become just the third defensive guy to earn Comeback Player of the Year since 2005. Thomas suffered a broken leg during the Seahawks Week 4 tilt against Arizona last season, marking the third consecutive season in which Thomas didn’t play all 16 games. Returning from injury after an ugly split with his former team Stitched Patrick Onwuasor Jersey , you can bet Thomas will be extra motivated for more reasons than one. The veteran safety had 22 tackles and three interceptions in just four games last season, which earned him a 91.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. By all indications, Thomas has almost fully recovered from his tibia injury and is set up for success in his first season with the Ravens. Anthony Levine Sr. plays more snaps at linebacker than safety “Co Cap” has been an underrated contributor on the Ravens defense over the past few seasons. Levine was instrumental in the team’s Week 17 victory over the Browns last season, as he recorded multiple pass deflections in the final two minutes. While safety is more of his natural position, Levine has always been more of a safety/linebacker hybrid. His skill set and versatility is valuable and figures to take on extra importance next season. Baltimore has great depth at safety with DeShon Elliot and Chuck Clark on the depth chart. However, the same can’t be said at linebacker. With Mosley gone, the Ravens will be relying on Patrick Onuwasor and Kenny Young as the starting duo next season. After those two, however, things are a bit murky. Even if they bring in another player in free agency, Levine should be a consistent part of the linebacker rotation. DeShon Elliott forces multiple turnovers Before the signing of Thomas, I was high on DeShon Elliott as a seamless replacement for the departed Eric Weddle. This obviously won’t be the case Youth Patrick Onwuasor Jersey , but Elliott is still a talented player with high upside. It’s unfortunate that his rookie season was cut short before it began, but we saw flashes in the preseason of what Elliott can do when given the opportunity. In just a few exhibition games, he showcased a knack for making plays and a nose for the ball. Elliott won’t play a significant role next year so long as Thomas and Jefferson are in the fold, but he could find his way onto the field in limited spurts. If he can carve out a role for himself in some fashion, Elliott is capable of making an impact. CINCINNATI (AP) — Safety Shawn Williams lowered his shoulder and hit Andrew Luck in the head as he was tackled, drawing an ejection.End Carlos Dunlap went for Luck’s legs and got a penalty for roughing the passer. He was flagged again when he landed hard on the quarterback after taking him down.The Bengals‘ defense spent a lot of time self-destructing before holding on for a 34-23 win at Indianapolis in their opener. Fixing the egregious penalties is at the top of their list as they get ready to host Baltimore (1-0) on Thursday night.“You’re just trying to do your job, get after the quarterback,” Williams said, referring to the penalties on him and Dunlap. “Like me, he has to find a way to do what’s within the rules.”The Bengals (1-0) hired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin in the offseason after Paul Guenther left for the Raiders. Austin has emphasized getting turnovers, and the defense won the game with one.Luck was trying to lead the Colts to a winning touchdown when safety Clayton Fejedelem stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball near the Cincinnati 15-yard line and returned the fumble for a touchdown with 24 seconds left.The defense had a few glaring shortcomings. Luck completed 39 of 53 passes for 319 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception White Za’Darius Smith Jersey , and the Colts had 380 yards overall.The three penalties were the most glaring issues.Williams’ hit on Luck’s head in the first quarter cost the Bengals their veteran safety and moved the Colts to the 9-yard line. They had to settle for a field goal.Dunlap’s first roughing-the-passer penalty with 27 seconds left in the first half moved the Colts in range for another field goal. His second roughing penalty resulted in a fumble being negated.“The penalties were the disappointing thing,” Austin said.The NFL has emphasized that it won’t accept actions such as Williams hitting Luck in the head.“I levelled my shoulder,” Williams said. “The contact with his head was incidental. There’s nothing I can do about that. I don’t know what he’s going to do as a runner. I know he’s going to try and get the first down and my job is to stop him.”Dunlap’s first penalty was for going after Luck’s legs, which also is a point of emphasis in protecting quarterbacks. The second one violated a new rule that says defenders can’t land on the quarterback with their full weight as they tackle them.Dunlap landed on top of Luck and caused a fumble that the Bengals recovered, but it was negated by the penalty.“Yeah, I was upset,” Dunlap said. “I mean, I tried to do the next-best thing and keep all my weight from taking him to the ground. Like, I rolled off right away and I tried to let the referee know that I’m not trying to be malicious and drive him into the ground.”Cornerback William Jackson also got an unnecessary roughness penalty while trying to prevent T.Y. Hilton’s touchdown catch. Overall, Cincinnati was penalized eight times for 94 yards.DOING BETTERLinebacker Preston Brown had a limited practice Tuesday, a day after he sat out with an injured right ankle. Dunlap also had a limited practice Za’Darius Smith Jersey 2019 , a day after sitting out with a calf injury. Both are expected to be available against the Ravens. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict will serve the second of his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers.2-0 IS RARE IN CINCINNATIThe Bengals haven’t won their first two games since 2015, when they went 12-4 and won the AFC North. They’ve opened 2-0 four times during Lewis’ 15 previous seasons — 2005, 2006, 2014 and 2015. They reached the playoffs in three of those seasons and lost in the first round. Last year, the Bengals dropped their first three games.