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Terrell Suggs' rise a major boost for Baltimore Ravens

Terrell Suggs returned to the Baltimore Ravens lineup in October, but the outside linebacker wasn't really back until this month.

Suggs missed the first eight games of the season recovering from a mysterious Achilles tendon tear suffered in May. It was speculated that the injury would cost him a year. He returned in five months, but he wasn't the same explosive player who won Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.

Suggs was missing a step, maybe two. He lacked his normal agility and quickness, and he wasn't in optimal football shape. But when the postseason began, Suggs began to put it together. After a regular season that included just 22 tackles and two sacks, Suggs has recorded 19 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in Baltimore's three postseason wins.

"He's getting better," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, via the Carroll County Times. "He's becoming quicker, faster, more explosive -- all of those things. You can tell that (the Achilles) is healing. He's just playing more like a normal 100-percent Terrell Suggs would play."

Suggs has been an all-around player in January, setting the edge against the run while flashing his trademark ability to get to the quarterback. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will have nightmares of Suggs this offseason.

"It's crazy," Ravens defensive end Pernell McPhee said. "You could look at (Suggs) when he first came back and be like, 'Oh yeah, he's not the same Suggs.' But then, as the season kept going, he kept getting better at things and better at his technique. And then the playoffs hit and he just got explosive."

Suggs' rise and the Ravens' run to the AFC title were no coincidence.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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