Lardarius Webb: Ravens CB's Torn ACL Will Not Hamper Super Bowl Odds

Mike Shiekman@TheRealShiekFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2012

Cornerback Lardarius Webb’s torn ACL is a crippling loss for the Baltimore Ravens defense, but not as bad as perceived. A Super Bowl berth is in still in play for these AFC contenders.

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora confirmed what the Ravens had feared:

Tests have confirmed what the Ravens feared- it is indeed a season-ending torn ACL for CB Lardarius Webb. Was having an All Pro year

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 15, 2012

The Ravens, ultimately, will win behind the strengths of their offense, mainly their tandem of QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice. This season they have switched to a no-huddle attack with more passing options, which has led them to their 5-1 record and a two-game lead in the AFC North.

Frankly, their defense will just have to hold a lead. No longer will this Ravens defense be called upon to keep them in the game and even score points. A bend-but-don’t-break concept will suffice, and a couple turnovers here and there will help.

The defense may not be able to replace Webb’s Pro Bowl production, but it should have viable replacement options by committee. The Ravens’ scouting team has been one of the best in the business, so Jimmy Smith, Cary Williams and Corey Graham should be able to bring some production.

Baltimore was able to pluck Webb out of the third round and start him at corner; why can’t they get lucky again?

Let’s not forget, the Ravens finally have a healthy Ed Reed monitoring the deep third for their defense. Talk about a strong security blanket.

He’ll be able to help over the top for any blown coverage that these new cornerbacks have trouble with.

Losing DT Haloti Ngata, in comparison, would be a tougher injury for this team to overcome. The Ravens’ next best options do not have Ngata’s combination of run-stuffing ability with pass-rush presence.

Chad Millman’s Vegas Player Rankings detail which player’s absence affect NFL points spreads. Webb is absent from the list, while Ngata, in comparison, would be a 2.5-point swing if he couldn't go.

If anybody knows values, it’s Vegas. Keep the Super Bowl hopes alive, Baltimore. Even without their top corner, the AFC North leaders are in the thick of it.

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