May 21, 2024

The significance of team chemistry is often just as crucial as individual talent when it comes to winning championships. The Baltimore Ravens’ defense is a prime example of this strong bond, both on and off the field.

On November 2, the AFC Defensive Player of the Month was awarded to New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams. While Jets fans celebrated this achievement, not everyone agreed with the choice. In particular, Ravens’ standout cornerback Marlon Humphrey expressed some dissatisfaction with the selection. Humphrey shared his thoughts on his Instagram story, although the post is no longer available. He commented on Williams’ award with the words “I’m not hating but someone had 4 interceptions in October…”

Humphrey was referring to Ravens safety Geno Stone, who has been excelling this season while filling in for the injured Marcus Williams. Stone’s contributions have earned praise from both his teammates and coaches.

Both the Jets and the Ravens boast top-tier defenses, so this disagreement may simply stem from pride within the Ravens’ defense. Alternatively, it could be interpreted as Humphrey being a supportive teammate, advocating for Stone.

Either player has a strong case for being the right choice for the award, making it an interesting topic for discussion if these two teams were to meet in the playoffs.

Ravens’ Safety Stone Achieves Rare Distinction

While Williams had an outstanding month, there’s a compelling argument (regardless of personal feelings) that Stone deserved the AFC Defensive Player of the Month honor.

Humphrey’s assertion that Stone should have been considered for the award is entirely valid. Stone concluded his October performance with another stellar game for the Ravens, securing his fifth interception of the season during their Week 8 match against the Arizona Cardinals. With this pick, Stone took the lead in NFL interceptions.

Stone’s interception put him in the company of Ravens’ legend Ed Reed, tying him for the most interceptions by a Raven through the first eight games of the season. This association is a significant honor for Stone, highlighting his remarkable performance as a safety and as part of the Ravens team.

Stone, originally a seventh-round pick, stepped into the starting role due to injuries within the Ravens’ safety corps. In the five October games, he accumulated 10 combined tackles, four interceptions, and four pass deflections.

Pro Football Focus rates Stone at an impressive 85.9 for the season, surpassing safeties like Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams.

Stone’s contributions have been vital for the Ravens, helping them secure a 6-2 record and leading the AFC North.

This breakout year couldn’t have come at a better time for Stone, as it’s a contract year. If he maintains this level of performance, he’s on track to earn a substantial contract, which he undoubtedly deserves.

Jets’ Linebacker Williams Shines in Breakout Year

When you think of a star defender with the last name Williams for the Jets, Quinnen Williams likely comes to mind. However, it’s his older brother, Quincy, who has been the standout performer for the Jets’ defense this year.

Quincy Williams, formerly of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was claimed off waivers in September 2021, proving to be a valuable discovery for Jets’ General Manager Joe Douglas.

The Jets rewarded Williams with a 3-year, $18 million contract in the past offseason, a move that has been widely applauded by Jets fans. This season, he has taken his game to another level, amassing 71 combined tackles, two sacks, and six pass deflections in just seven games.

His performance has earned him an impressive 88.6 rating from Pro Football Focus, placing him fifth among all linebackers in the league. Williams has also displayed a knack for crucial defensive plays, such as a game-ending sack and forced fumble in the Jets’ Week 5 matchup against the Denver Broncos.

In October, Williams made a significant impact with 45 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble, helping the Jets secure three wins and reenter the playoff picture.

Tony Vozza, an NFL coverage writer for Heavy.com, specializes in reporting on the Baltimore Ravens.

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