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Terrell Suggs: Ravens' loss of Ray Lewis 'catastrophic'

You've heard this one before: The Baltimore Ravens haven't been the same team on defense this year.

Opponents have preyed on this once-dominant unit, pouring out yardage and points on a defense that spent the past nine seasons ranked in the top 10.

Pass rusher Terrell Suggs is back from the Achilles' injury that forced him to miss the team's first six games, but ailments have pulled too many other key players out of the mix.

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Suggs rates the loss of Ray Lewis above them all.

"There's no word, really, in the English dictionary that can describe how important this man is to this team and this city," Suggs said in a Thursday appearance on NFL Network's "Around the League Live," set to air at 4 p.m. ET. "Losing him was catastrophic, and it's going to be hard to fill that void."

Suggs sees Baltimore's 30th-ranked defense as the product of injuries and transition. Young players have been asked to step in and fill the void left by Suggs, Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb during the team's 5-2 start.

It hasn't gone smoothly, but there's no sense of doom and gloom inside the building.

"We're a group of men built on doing the impossible," Suggs said.

What we saw against the Houston Texans on Sunday was disturbing. The Ravens couldn't stop the run or slow down the play-action pass. If the offense isn't singing, this team has trouble competing, and that's very new for the Ravens.

Baltimore's defense has rescued a typically floundering offense for a decade-plus, but times are changing. Suggs believes his teammates can weather the storm.

Suggs' full interview with "Around the League" can be seen Thursday at 4 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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