June 24, 2024

The Baltimore Ravens have a case to make that their defense is the best in the NFL this year. The defense, which gave up 17 points to Kansas City in the first half of the AFC Championship Game, won’t be the only reason the Ravens didn’t make it to the Super Bowl. In the second half, that same unit gave up zero points against the Chiefs.

Lamar Jackson on Baltimore Ravens Offense: 'We're Trying To Figure It Out'  - Sports Illustrated Baltimore Ravens News, Analysis and More

Regretfully, MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore offense was unable to score more than three points in the second half, and despite keeping the Chiefs below 20, the club fell by a mere seven points. As if that weren’t awful enough, defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald left to take the helm of the Seattle Seahawks, sparking a talent exodus that has left the Ravens’ defensive coaching staff and personnel office in ruins.

It is crucial that they hold onto their defensive players this summer, especially defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, because of that alone. “During the 2023 season, Madubuike blossomed into a star,” 33rd Team’s Marcus Mosher writes. “He was the Baltimore Ravens’ greatest defensive tackle. In the heart of the defense, Baltimore cannot afford to lose him, especially with its smaller linebackers trailing him.” With a final score of 77. 4, Madubuike was the highest-graded interior defensive lineman on Pro Football Focus’s 18-list for 2023.

His position group rated 13th with his pass-rushing grade of 79.6, which was the greatest of his isolated groupings, and 33rd with his run-defense grade of 66.4.

Baltimore Ravens' Justin Madubuike on verge of NFL record - ESPN

Spotrac reports that Madubuike will get a four-year contract this offseason with an average yearly pay of $20.3 million, placing him in the same ballpark as players like Quinnen Williams, the defensive tackle for the New York Jets, among others. During Pro Bowl Games practice, Madubuike told NFL.com, “In terms of Baltimore, man, that’s home.” “But, you know, business is business, and that side is going to take care of itself.”

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