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The Ravens have learned the dilemma of the 2006 Vikings over the past few weeks. A great rush defense with no pass defense is no defense at all. Here are the numbers:
Vs. the Rush:
Team: 30 carries, 83 yards, 2.8 YPC
Best: Bannan 13/15, 1.2 YPC
Worst: Edwards 18/68, 3.8 YPC
Vs. the Pass:
Team: 35 plays, 249 yards, 7.1 YPP
Best: Bannan 16/82, 5.1 YPP
Worst: Edwards 12/129, 12.8 YPP
Team: 65/332, 5.1 YPPA
Best: Bannan 29/97, 3.3 YPPA
Worst: Edwards 30/197, 6.6 YPPA
By number of DBâ€™s:
3: 2 plays, 1 yard, 0.5 YPPA
4: 49/231, 4.7 YPPA
5: 14/100, 7.1 YPPA
What an easy game this was to record (but difficult to watch). There were no sacks, QB hits, or Turnovers to clutter up my sheet.
By number of Pass Rushers:
3: 1 play, 4 yards, 4.0 YPP
4: 25/167, 6.7 YPP
5: 7/38, 5.4 YPP
6: 2/40, 20.0 YPP
â€¢ Barnes substituted twice for Landry with the Ravens playing a 3 DB alignment (2nd and 5, 2nd and 6). Those were the first times this year the Ravens have offered a 3 DB alignment outside of goal line situations. While I did not keep track of all 11 on the field last year (just the heavies), I think the last time they played 3 DBâ€™s was vs. the Chargers last season when Landry missed a number of plays to counteract Tomlinson and Martyball.
â€¢ Early in the 2nd quarter, with the Chargers facing 3rd and 1 at the Ravens 6, the Ravens set up in their goal line 3 safety alignment with 8 LBâ€™s/Linemen on the field. As Rivers approached the line, he apparently noticed the personnel change and called time. After the timeout, the Ravens returned to their standard 4 in the secondary.
â€¢ On 3rd and 9 from the SD 40, Ngata lined up very deep (12 yards off the LoS) in his 2-point â€œrunning startâ€ LB stance. The RG and C noticed and pointed. It kind of reminds me of a very old jokeâ€¦How can you tell thereâ€™s an elephant in your bedroom? A: Heâ€™s the one with the big â€œEâ€ on his pajamas.
Attempting to hide Ngata is not going to work, but I canâ€™t say it wasnâ€™t entertaining to see Ryan try.
â€¢ As Ngata rushed Rivers on the aforementioned play, he was picked up high by the RG and chopped by the RT with no flag. Instilling fear in the opponent with Ngata is a good thing, but I would prefer if Ryan held off on what appears to be a high-injury-risk play until the Ravens play their next meaningful game, be that 2008 or 2009.
â€¢ The Ravens brought 6-man pressure on only 2 plays. The second occurred on Gatesâ€™ 25-yard TD reception. As the Ravens danced around pre-snap, Rolle telegraphed that he was rushing. While he made an attempt to get back in press coverage on the OLS receiver, Rivers audibled. Samari came anyway, and the blitz was picked up as Rivers effortlessly completed the pass to Gates.
One thing I have noticed is that the Ravens CBâ€™s will often give away when they are blitzing. The no-huddle and longer snap counts seem to be effective in getting them to tip their hand. Itâ€™s a weakness to Ryanâ€™s anyone-can-blitz scheme that is not effectively disguised.