Through the first eight weeks of the season, the Ravens are sitting comfortably at 5-2 and are riding a three-game winning streak, but according to Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon, they’re not focusing on any outside talk.
Instead, they’re keen on letting their play do the talking.
“I think the one thing that’s good about our team is we read the press clippings and see everything, but we don’t care. We’ve got bunch of people and a bunch of guys who don’t care what you write about them,” Judon said on Glenn Clark Radio Oct. 23. “We don’t care what happened the last game, we don’t care how the loss was. We just want to get back to work and we want to get that going.”
One of the keys to the Ravens’ success this year has been quarterback Lamar Jackson. This season, Jackson is completing 63.3 percent of his passes and has thrown for 1,650 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has also rushed for 576 yards (an average of 6.9 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. Combined, that’s 2,226 total yards — more yards than 14 other NFL teams have posted thus far.
Judon believes Jackson is truly unique and really enjoys watching him excel on the field.
“I don’t think anybody can do what he is doing right now,” Judon said. “He is definitely a generational player and one that I’m glad I get to watch.”
This past offseason, the Ravens suffered major blows to last year’s No. 1-ranked defense, including the loss of linebackers Terrell Suggs (Arizona Cardinals) and Za’Darius Smith (Green Bay Packers) to free agency. However, Judon, who has four sacks this year, is all in on his bigger role and the responsibilities that have come with it.
“I’m somebody that loves football, I’m somebody that just really enjoys the game and everything it comes with, so I knew that going ahead that I was going to get my reps with the departure of Sizz and Za’Darius and I welcomed that,” Judon said. “It doesn’t matter to me if you need me to play the nose guard. I don’t know if my weight would be equipped to do it, but … let’s see what happens.”
Even though the Ravens are standing tall at 5-2, one of the major stories this season has been injuries.
The Ravens lost nickel back Tavon Young (neck), safety Tony Jefferson (knee) and linebacker Pernell McPhee (triceps) for the season, while cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee) and wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (ankle) are still on the mend, so not everything has gone the Ravens’ way this season.
Thus far, the Ravens have overcome the injuries. Due to McPhee’s triceps injury, rookie Jaylon Ferguson and second-year player Tyus Bowser are the next men up. Judon believes they are up for the challenge.
“[Ferguson and Bowser are] a part of this 5-2 record as much as I am, as much as Lamar is, as much as Mark Ingram is,” Judon said. “They’ve been here with us this whole time, it’s not like they are newly acquired players. They’ve been here the whole time, and they’re ready. Me and Jaylon talk often. It’s his rookie year, which is probably the hardest year in the league and we talk often. He’s in a good mental state, whatever we need him to do, he’s gonna be able to do it.”
The Ravens’ 30-16 victory in Seattle Oct. 20 certainly gave the Ravens a major boost going into the bye week, and Judon is more than ready for the week off. He’s enjoying his bye week in New York with his daughter.
“This is a reload session,” Judon said. “We had seven hard games and we got the back half of our season left and we got some tough teams, especially with the Patriots coming up, so this just a reload session.”
To hear more from Judon, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox