BALTIMORE — The Jacksonville Jaguars knew Ravens defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was going to be "out for blood" against them in Week 15.
Ngakoue spent the first four years of his career with the Jaguars. He was traded to Minnesota prior to the season after he announced that he didn't want a long-term deal in Jacksonville and traded barbs with ownership on Twitter.
The Ravens then acquired him from the Vikings just prior to the trade deadline. He played perhaps his best game in a 40-14 victory against the Jaguars on Sunday, finishing with a pair of sacks and a forced fumble.
"That’s all God, the man above – just putting me in the situation to be able to make those plays," Ngakoue said after the game. "But also, it’s the other 10 guys around me doing what they’re supposed to do, allowing for the opportunity to be there. All hats off to the defense.”
The Jaguars were expecting that type of performance from Ngakoue even though he played down the revenge factor heading into the game.
"Yannick's going to be out for blood," quarterback Gardner Minshew said prior to the matchup.
The Ravens kept Minshew under pressure for much of the game even though another former Jaguars player, Calais Campbell, was out of the lineup with a calf injury.
Minshew was sacked five times and absorbed another six quarterback hits.
Ngakoue played a key role in that pressure.
“This is what they brought me here to do," Ngakoue said. "They brought me here to come change the game and be a critical part of the defense, and that’s what I intend on doing, and that’s my job, and that’s what I need to do every Sunday. So, just fortunate that that was able to happen today.”
Prior to the game against Jacksonville, Ngakoue had one sack and one quarterback hit in seven games for Baltimore. However, the coaches have lauded his effort and the disruptive presence even though the stats told a different story.
Ngakoue is looking to finish the season strong and lead Baltimore to the playoffs.
“This defense can be really scary," he said. "We’ve got a lot of people that can play. As you can tell, we rotate, because we’ve got guys that can come fill in and not miss a beat. So, at the end of the day, I don’t even feel like we reached the peak yet – which is scary and exciting at the same time.”