(Game Rating/Cumulative Preseason Rating)–Defense
Brown, Omar (0/+3): He replaced Cook (Q3, 9:04) after his injury and delivered a vicious undercut of Parmele to hold him to a gain of 2 (Q3, 3:13) on a pass right.
Brown, Ricky (0/+2): No notes, but he had 2 tackles.
Carr (+2/-2): Nigel bounced back from one of the worst preseason games I can recall against the Lions. He worked off the pull of Brewster to take down Parmele for a gain of 3. He pursued well to take down Murphy for a gain of 4 (Q4, 3:37) on a run to the right.
Cody (0/0): Still no sign of a pass rush, but he contributed a run tackle.
Considine (0/-1): I did not notice him in at Safety despite the losses of Cook and Graham. Graham, Omar Brown, and Thompson all had playing time at safety. I can see the Ravens keeping 3 of these 4 players, but not all 4.
Cook (-3/-4): Watching Cook get carted off the field and knowing what it likely means for his NFL career, it’s difficult not to be moved.
Ellerbe (0/0): He was active and played defensively, but did not make the stat sheet.
Gorrer (0/0): Gorrer was inserted after Chykie Brown in the cornerback rotation. That’s right where he was at the end of last season before making the trip from practice squad to special teams to backup corner to nickel and playing well in limited opportunities. I think there is a better than even chance the Ravens will trade a corner before the regular season. It’s a position of depth and a number of teams are short there. Williams would be the most likely to be traded because of his tenure and what return the Ravens might get. I wonder if there is a team out there that might give as much for Gorrer given his time until free-agent eligibility.
Graham, Corey (+1/+1): He had a special teams tackle and a defensive stop shared with Omar Brown (Q3, 8:21). On the latter play he went down, appeared dazed, and did not return.
Hall (0/+1): He had rotational playing time late and made a tackle, but did not otherwise make my notes.
Jackson (0/+3): Jackson had 2 special teams tackles, but for the first time I noticed his size factoring in a play when Robiskie was able to effectively box him out for a 7-yard catch on 3rd and 6 (Q4, 2:59).
Jones, Arthur (0/+1): He started and had 1 tackle, but did not make my notes.
Kemoeatu (+1/+3): Kemo rotated with Cody at DT, but did not get the start. He had a nice takedown of Parmele (Q3, 14:50) where he was able to push free of Nwaneri.
Kindle (0/-1): He is listed as having played in the Gamebook, was seen in street clothes along the sidelines.
Kruger (-1/0): Paul continued to provide effective pressure including a QH (Q2, 1:07). He didn’t play as well against the run as he did in the previous game and the Lions had much of their success running to his side. He failed to contain Jennings on a 15-yard run left (Q1, 4:48). He also lost the left edge on a 9-yard run by Jennings (Q2, 3:23). He was flagged for defensive holding on Lewis to negate an incomplete pass on the other side of the field.
McClellan (+2/+3): He started from a 2-point stance on Thursday and did a lot of the things right that are necessary for a good rush LB. To summarize:
· He pursued across the line to tackle Jennings (Q1, 12:39)
· He had a top-shelf hold of the left edge versus Whimper (Q1, 10:39) and made the initial contact on Jennings which set up McClain to make the tackle for a loss of 1.
· He diagnosed the screen left and nearly batted it down (Q2, 11:35). That play went for a gain of just 2 and while he didn’t make the stop (McClain again), that recognition can have other positive effects (tipping off the rest of the defense, altering the loft of the toss, or allowing for quicker pursuit to the ball).
· He pushed free of the starting LT (Bradfield), dove to the middle of the line, and tripped up Parmele on a 2-yard run up the middle.
· He had good push on Murphy to constrict the pocket on Tyson’s sack (Q4, 8:22)
I didn’t note any specific effective coverage, but he appears to be the Ravens’ best answer at ROLB to start the season.
Smith (+1/0): He had a fine game despite the difficult assignment of covering Justin Blackmon. Jimmy had fairly tight coverage on Blackmon (Q1, 11:56) on a play that went for 16 yards. He recorded a PD versus Blackmon (Q1, 10:00). The PI call (Q3, 8:28) was questionable and not only did it look like Smith found the ball at the last instant, it appeared there was little contact prior. He had step-for-step coverage of Elliott down the left sideline (Q3, 1:55).
Thompson, Christian (0/0): He had a pair of tackles on defense including one from the ground to bring down Murphy for a gain of 3 (Q4, 6:41). He had a missed tackle on Murphy’s TD run (Q4, 2:12). Thompson’s playing time and likelihood of game-day activation increased substantially with the loss of Cook.
Tyson (+1/+2): He pushed his way by Baldridge for a sack of Henne (Q4, 8:22).
Upshaw (+1/0): He recorded his first NFL sack (Q4, 12:27) when he bulled Robinson then beat him outside to take down Henne for a loss of 7. He also assisted on a run stop. Upshaw is very raw and I think he would benefit from a limited snap count in the regular season which maximized his opportunity to impact the pass rush. The Ravens have several players who might fit such a bill (Upshaw and Kindle might, Kruger and McPhee were outstanding in that role in 2011), but a team can only have so many situational pass rushers and teams that regularly play no huddle minimize the value of such players.