Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Ravens LB Patrick Onwuasor is here to stay

Big Bad Morning Show
November 05, 2019 - 10:08 am

By Austin Medina  

When CJ Mosley left in free agency this offseason, many around the league could have written the linebacker core off.

Those within Baltimore knew they had something special in linebacker Patrick Onwuasor. The linebacker who played alongside Mosley. The linebacker who led the team in forced fumbles in 2018.

Onwuasor signed a three-year deal with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Within a year, he became a full-time starter alongside Mosley. When four-time Pro Bowler Mosley signed with the Jets, many people could have panicked. The Ravens did not.

Onwuasor has been a staple of the Ravens defense this season. His presence and significance was summed up in the 37-20 victory over the Patriots.

Onwuasor (ankle) missed two games prior to the Ravens matchup with New England. In his return, he showed just how important he is on the defensive side of the ball.

Along with eight tackles, Onwuasor made two huge plays that shifted the momentum in the Ravens favor.

In the 1st quarter, the Ravens jumped to a 10-0 lead. The Patriots were looking to sustain a long drive to put points on the board and give their defense a rest. On a 3rd and 7, Onwuasor blitzed and sacked Brady for a nine-yard loss. The possession resulted in a punt and the Ravens capitalized. Mark Ingram’s 53 yard run set the Ravens up for another touchdown and gave them a 17-0 lead.

With a 17-13 lead dwindling in the 3rd quarter, the Ravens needed a big stop against Tom Brady and the Pats offense. Onwuasor jumped a standard check down pass to Julian Edelman and forced a crucial fumble, which cornerback Marlon Humprhey picked up and cashed for a touchdown.

Of course “Peanut” came up with a huge forced fumble. Onwuasor’s forced fumble led to an 11-point lead and gave the Ravens some much-needed fresh air.

Head coach John Harbaugh has high praise for Onwuasor after the victory. 

These two plays signify just how important Onwuasor is for the Ravens defense. His relentless pursuit of the football, his ranginess in coverage, and ability to create turnovers is what Baltimore needs in a linebacker. All in all, Onwuasor tallied eight tackles along with a sack and a forced fumble in just 42% of the defensive snaps. 

The Ravens have a mainstay in Onwuasor at linebacker. His strip of Edelman was his fifth career forced fumble and his first since the playoff loss to Los Angeles when he stripped tight end Virgil Green.

Set to be a free agent, Peanut should be a priority for the Ravens this offseason. As for the season that remains, opposing offenses will surely be scheming for him and ensuring caution when running the ball near him.