HomeFootball DirtBaltimore's Madubuike Aiming for 11th Consecutive Game with at Least a Half-Sack

Baltimore’s Madubuike Aiming for 11th Consecutive Game with at Least a Half-Sack

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — After watching Justin Madubuike sack the quarterback in game after game, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh figured his defensive tackle might be accomplishing something special.

“Is there a record? There has to be some kind of record isn’t there?” Harbaugh asked reporters this week.

Madubuike is indeed closing in on one. He’s contributed at least a half-sack in 10 straight games for the Ravens. The league record is 11, so he has a chance to tie it Sunday night at Jacksonville.

“I’m for that,” Harbaugh said. “I’m for tying the record, and I’m for beating the record, and I’m for extending the record. He’s having a fantastic season.”

Madubuike has become a force in the middle of a defense that leads the league with 49 sacks. In fact, the Ravens as a team are on a couple impressive runs of their own — 34 consecutive games with a sack and 11 straight with at least two. Both are the longest active streaks in the NFL.

Madubuike has had multiple sacks just once during his streak — Oct. 15 against Tennessee — but his steady production has a chance to become historic. The players who have had a half-sack in 11 straight games include Jared Allen, Chris Jones, Trey Hendrickson and Shaun Ellis. Not a bad group to be a part of.

Jones is proof that an interior lineman can put up big sack numbers. His streak came in 2018, and he had at least one sack in all 11 games, whereas Madubuike has extended his run a couple times with half-sacks. The Baltimore standout says it’s easy to forget about the streak while he’s playing.

“It’s just something that some of my teammates may mention on the sidelines,” Madubuike said. “But it’s not really on the forefront of my mind. I’m really just trying to play my game and just focus on the next opponent and just try to keep it simple.”

Madubuike’s parents are immigrants from Nigeria, and his last name means: “My family is my strength.” He played high school football in Texas and went to Texas A&M before joining the Ravens as a third-round draft pick in 2020.

He’s been a regular starter since 2021, and his 11 sacks this season have doubled his previous career high.

“You saw it all through the years, but you saw it in training camp — we all did. He works hard every day,” Harbaugh said. “He’s humble, he’s determined, he’s confident, and he wants to be the best player he can be. He plays for his team. There’s nothing about him that isn’t an A-plus, and to see him have that kind of success, that’s awesome.”

Madubuike admitted he’s already achieved his preseason sack goal.

“I said I wanted 10, and I passed 10,” he said. “So now I have a new number.”

One he’s not disclosing.

He’s also not talking much about what it could mean to have such a big season during a contract year.

“It’s on my mind, but I don’t worry about it,” he said. “I don’t even think about it too much. I just think about putting my feet in front of the other and just keep on rolling, in terms of just what’s in front of me.”

What’s in front of him now is another big game, for a Baltimore team that currently leads the AFC.

“I’m just trying to focus on being a better player than I was the year before, and that’s what’s happening,” Madubuike said. “I take pride in working hard and being happy and being a good teammate. So, yes. It’s a good feeling, but I’m just not satisfied. I want to keep being better and keep growing as a player, as a pro and as a person.”

NOTES: Baltimore S Kyle Hamilton (knee) was a full participant in practice Friday.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL

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