Suggs shows he's strongest player on field

October, 6, 2013
10/06/13
7:45
PM ET
MIAMI -- There were questions whether Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs would be the same defensive player after tearing his Achilles last year. No one ever thought Suggs would be better.

Suggs continued to dominate this season with three sacks in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 26-23 win, which is a tribute to his conditioning. A motivated Suggs reported to training camp in the best shape of his career, and when others were wilting under the hot South Florida sun, he proved to be the strongest player on the field. He powered his way through a lackluster Dolphins offensive line, getting to quarterback Ryan Tannehill three times in an eight-play stretch in the final quarter.

[+] EnlargeRyan Tannehill and Terrell Suggs
Robert Mayer/USA TODAY SportsTerrell Suggs sacked Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill three times in an eight-play span during the fourth quarter Sunday.
"That guy is a freak of nature," safety James Ihedigbo said. "He played phenomenal. That second-half performance made our job in the secondary so much easier."

When it looked like the Ravens were losing grasp of the momentum, that's when Suggs started wrapping his arms around Tannehill. The Dolphins had just tied the game at 23 on an interception return for a touchdown, and the Ravens' offense punted the ball back to Miami.

But Suggs delivered a sack on Miami's first play and then stopped the drive by taking down Tannehill on third-and-14. The Ravens then went down the field to hit the game-winning field goal.

So, what inspired Suggs in the fourth quarter?

"My wife told me to bring momma three sacks," Suggs said. "It came down the stretch in the fourth quarter and I said, 'All right, momma said she wanted three, so go get it.'"

"Momma" must have known the Dolphins had allowed the second-most sacks in the NFL. In total, the Ravens recorded six sacks with Suggs accounting for half of them.

The Ravens are 14-1 when Suggs records multiple sacks in a game.

"You could say that he could be the defensive player of the year every year with the impact that he has on the game and the plays he can make," Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Gibson said.

When Suggs was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, he finished with 14 sacks. He has half that many just five games into the 2013 season.

Some will say the increase in Suggs' sacks comes from the addition of Elvis Dumervil on the other side. Others believe Suggs is determined to show he's back after recording four sacks in 12 games (including playoffs) last season.

Whatever the reason, Suggs now has a sack in each of the first five games, which ties a franchise record.

"Terrell Suggs was just off the scale," coach John Harbaugh said.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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