Wrong. Not this year.
If you put any stock at all in the ratings on Pro Football Focus, Justin Houston is our best defender. He has a +12.7 grade for the season, which is about nine points higher than anyone else on the defense. He was also our highest rated defender against the Ravens, and we're about see why.
Houston, basically, wrecked any offensive tackle that tried to block him. Left tackles, right tackles, at the start of the game, at the end of the game, they couldn't stop Houston. The GIFs below prove it.
More: The GIF'D UP series
Houston vs Kelechi Osemele.
I don't know how to pronounce Osemele's name, but I'm pretty sure it's Swahili or something for "Barry Richardson," because that's who this guy looked like Sunday. In our first GIF, Houston puts his hands on this guy and then it's pretty much over from a pass protection standpoint. Joe Flacco barely gets rid of the ball.
And in a shocking turn of events, exactly the same thing happens on the next snap. I am not making this up. I know you're thinking "balderdash, that's the same play." It's not.
Later, Houston gets by Kelechi Richardson for a sack. This pretty much ends this drive, as it was on 2nd and 8. Again, no contest. This is just embarrassing.
Later, Houston goes to the outside and...LOLNOPE! Houston ducks inside and makes Osemele look real bad again. Joe Flacco is lucky he's not Matt Cassel, or these would probably be sacks. You can also see Tamba Hali beating Michael Oher here. Hooray pass rush!
This is the very next snap. THE VERY NEXT SNAP. Houston is basically hitting CTRL-C, CTRL-V on these plays. They're exact carbon copies. I feel really bad for Kelechi Osemele.
WHAT'S THAT, MICHAEL OHER? YOU WANTED SOME OF THIS? Houston flips sides and blows past the other offensive tackle.
OK, Michael Oher. I can beat you for a sack too. To the outside, if you like, since I already went inside earlier. Note the effort here from Houston, as he completes a nice dive to get the sack.
To recap: that's seven plays where Houston completely owned the protection. Houston only had 19 pass-rush snaps in this game. That's a completely unheard of level of production, and a dominant game. Not surprisingly, Houston is the highest-rated OLB on Pro Football Focus this week. He's the best defender on his team, and the best player at his position right now. APPLAUSE.
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