The Baltimore Ravens, despite their 5-1 record, might be in some serious trouble. The team expects to hear the bad news that its No. 1 cornerback Lardarius Webb tore his ACL on Sunday, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
That injury situation comes in addition to the possibility that inside linebacker Ray Lewis tore his triceps in the same game. For a team that already lacks the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Terrell Suggs, any additional injuries could doom a season.
A defense that was feared as recently as last year has been getting destroyed via the ground game this year. The offense has picked up the slack so far, but without Webb and Lewis, it’s difficult to project that it will continue to do so.
Baltimore has yielded six rushing touchdowns to running backs in six games in 2012, putting it on pace to give up 16 ground scores.
It gave up 10 all of last year.
The Ravens allowed 200 yards on the ground for two consecutive weeks. The passing defense also suffered on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys as Webb left the game in the first quarter.
Before he left, wide receiver Dez Bryant had two catches for 32 yards. After he left, Bryant caught 11 more passes for 63 additional yards and a pair of touchdowns. Webb would have been tasked with stopping the bleeding for Baltimore with regard to Bryant’s big game.
That didn’t happen.
Dallas converted 15 first downs through the air in addition to Tony Romo’s touchdown passes to Bryant.
Before Week 6, the Ravens had allowed just two total touchdown catches to opposing wide receivers this season.
The Ravens offense—and a record-tying kickoff return from Jacoby Jones—were able to pace the Cowboys at home, but Joe Flacco’s offense is a completely different animal on the road, where four out of the Ravens' next five games will be played.
Baltimore still relies on its defense to win road games like the 9-6 victory it celebrated over the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium in Week 5.
Webb’s absence will make that task much more difficult when opponents opt to throw the ball on the Ravens.