FILMSTUDY: Another one gets away

Filmstudy FILMSTUDY: Another one gets away

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One of the better teams in the NFL came into our house and beat us by 3 points.  It wasn’t the worst of losses, nor an indication that this is a bad football team, but each of the Ravens 4 playoff teams finished a very high percentage of these games.


 

My long-time sweetheart Maureen lost her dad this week and she’s back home in



Indianapolis
with her family.  She’s tremendously supportive of this analysis and everything else in my life, including entering all the game data.  I’ll be headed there tomorrow and won’t be able to get the stats done before I go, but I thought I’d include the notes I made to date.  We’ll both be going to the game on Sunday and yes, she’s a Ravens’ and not a Colts’ fan.


 

Individual Notes:


 

·       After having one of the best games of his career vs.

Pittsburgh
(11 plays, 27 yards, 2.5 YPPA and a nice QH on Roethlisberger), Antwan Barnes was not used for a single play vs.



Tennessee
.  The Ravens had sacked the QB 7 times in 49 4-man rushes prior to Sunday when they went 0 for 15.  For most of the game, they kept Kerry Collins in check by dropping 7 into coverage, giving him all day to throw, then disrupting his passes at the line, in the secondary, or out of the receiver’s hands.  But after 2 very long drives, a tired pass rush could muster no pressure on Collins who completed 6 of his last 8 passes for 62 yards while leading the Titans down the field.  It’s a little odd to me that the Ravens did not use some fresh horses to get the pass rush going.  I really wouldn’t have cared if it was Zbikowski or Nakamura used on the rush, but Douglas, Bannan, and Ngata were still getting most of the snaps and Collins was the beneficiary.

 
·       Haloti Ngata looked great in the first half with the entire defense, but there is one play in particular worth a review.  With 14:37 left in Q2, the Titans had 1st and 10 and Johnson slipped out of the backfield to set up as a short outlet.  He was met by Ngata who drilled him backwards to the ground.  Watch it again if you have a recording and I think you’ll agree he got the most of his 1 bump within 5 yards of the LoS.  The pass went incomplete.

 
·       Nick Greisen played his first defensive snap of the year on 3rd and 2 at the Ravens 42 (Q1, 12:26).  Interestingly, with the Ravens playing a 4-4-3, Greisen replaced CMac, but



Washington
stayed in the game.  There have been several times the Ravens have played with only 1 corner, but I do not recall any time when CMac was the one removed for reasons other than equipment or injury.

 
·       It’s frustrating to have a game with so many penalties, but it’s even more frustrating when the referee does not announce the infractor.  We were left to guess who was responsible for at least 1 personal foul.

 
·       Speaking of penalties, who was responsible for the 12 men on the field flag on the Titans TD drive?  Well to begin, I could only see 11 men on the field.  I’m 95% sure the 12th was Nakamura, since the Ravens use him almost exclusively as a deep safety and the player off camera had to be set up in the defensive backfield.  The camera initially focused on Evan Oglesby (our likely top corner in week 8, the way we are going), who was lined up opposite an outside receiver.  Since he would not be on the field unless his package was called, and the Ravens don’t normally use a 4th corner (Ivy, Walker, and CMac were all on, but to be fair, the Ravens played a 4 corner/2 safety alignment just 2 plays later) unless there are already 3 safeties on the field, that corroborates my thinking that Nakamura was in the game.  In 7 DB packages, the Ravens use Ray, Suggs, and 2 other linemen (in this case Douglas and Pryce).  By process of elimination, Bart Scott was the additional player who should have been on the sidelines.  If you rewatch the play (Q4, 2:34), it does appear there is some confusion among the linebackers.  Until the NFL makes the end zone footage available, trying to analyze film with the crappy TV angles will remain a little like playing Clue.
 
·       The Ravens played their 4th straight game allowing the opponent 57 or fewer offensive snaps (54, 57, 55, 54).  That’s obviously fantastic, but of little consolation for a 2-2 team.  The concern I have is that the loss of Kelly Gregg for the season will show up when the team faces its first 70-75 play game.  That will cause the D-Line rotation, which has benefitted from staying very rested, to be spread much thinner.

 
·       On a related note, I was concerned that Divens started the 2nd half at DT instead of Ngata.  It’s unusual to do so since halftime is a rest unto itself.  Ngata sat out the 1st series of Q3, then played 12 of 13 plays on the next drive and 10 of 13 on the Titans TD drive (both totals include penalties).

 
·       I see a lot of talk about



Walker
on the message boards, but I thought he had as good a game as we might have hoped.  He pried the ball loose from a receiver on 2 occasions and had a clean PD on another.  He allowed one completion to his man on a slant by Jones and had the holding penalty on the ball he intercepted.  He also picked up Reed’s missed tackle by taking Scaife down along the left sideline.  Given the Ravens current situation at CB, they will need to see him continue to play well.
 
·       Zbikowski did not play a defensive snap.  Oglesby played his 1st 3 snaps in his return to the purple.  Suggs, Johnson, Lewis, Leonhard, and Reed played every snap.

 
·       The Ravens played their 4th straight game without a single 7-man pass rush.  They rushed 6 once and that was only the 7th time they have done so in 130 pass plays this season.
 
 
Photo by Sabina Moran

 

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Ken McKusick

About Ken McKusick

Known as “Filmstudy” from his handle on area message boards, Ken is a lifelong Baltimorean and rabid fan of Baltimore sports. He grew up within walking distance of Memorial Stadium and attended all but a handful of Orioles games from 1979 through 2001. He got his start in sports modeling with baseball in the mid 1980’s. He began writing about the Ravens in 2006 and maintains a library of video for every game the team has played. He’s a graduate of Syracuse with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Math who recently retired from his actuarial career to pursue his passion as a football analyst full time. If you have math or modeling questions related to sports or gambling, Ken is always interested in hearing new problems or ideas. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @filmstudyravens. More from Ken McKusick

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