The Ravens defense struggled mightily against a balanced Cowboys offense netting a total of 481 yards of offense. There were plenty of issues on the defensive side of the ball, one of the most glaring being missed tackles.
In total, the Ravens missed 19 tackles, which allowed the Cowboys an additional 101 yards of total offense.
For the purpose of this statistic, a missed tackle was defined as:
* Defensive player placed hands on an offensive player with a legitimate chance to bring the player to the ground.
* Defensive player was attempting to make a tackle but dove and was juked by an offensive player. The defensive player must have had a legitimate chance of making a tackle.
Many highlight reels from this season have already featured massive hits by Ed Reed as he’s laid his shoulder into a few opposing offensive players; however, Reed showed he’s heavily relying on the big hit versus fundamental tackling by wrapping up the opposing player.
Cowboys’ players looked like pinballs as they bounced off the future Hall of Fame safety. Reed accounted for four missed tackles, which netted an additional 56 yards of offense for the Cowboys after first contact.
Reed’s missed tackles are more glaring because the safety is the last line of defense before an even bigger play can develop. Three of the Cowboys biggest gains after contact came when Reed attempted to make a tackle.
In the midst of injuries and a defense struggling to find its identity, fundamental defensive football cannot be abandoned. Here is a look at the blown tackles:
Yards After Contact
|1st & 10||DAL 36||Murray||Upshaw||2 Yards|
|2nd & 6||BLT 40||Murray||McClain, Reed||25 Yards|
|1st & 20||BLT 22||Jones||Lewis, Pollard, Reed||19 Yards|
|1st & 10||DAL 38||Murray||Kruger||4 Yards|
|2nd & 4||BLT 38||Murray||Williams||6 Yards|
|1st & 10||BLT 35||Murray||Pollard||3 Yards|
|1st & 10||DAL 20||Jones||Kemoeatu||1 Yard|
|1st & 15||BLT 36||Bryant||Smith||2 Yards|
|2nd & 4||DAL 48||Jones||McPhee||6 Yards|
|1st & 10||BLT 40||Tanner||Smith||2 Yards|
|2nd & 9||BLT 21||Dunbar||Smith||9 Yards|
|1st & 10||DAL 25||Bryant||Graham, Reed||0 Yards (Tackled by #51 and #32|
|2nd & 12||DAL 33||Jones||Ayanbadejo||10 Yards|
|3rd & 27||BLT 49||Bryant||Graham, Reed||12 Yards|
After more than a decade of dominance, opposing offenses no longer fear the Ravens defense. This defense is surrendering yards to offenses like they’ve never seen before and the bleeding doesn’t seem to have any end in sight, especially with key members being injured.
The potential loss of Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb (confirmed ACL tear, left knee) for the season could have devastating consequences. Luckily for the Ravens, they find themselves tied with the Houston Texans for the best record in the AFC at 5-1 and have a two-game lead in the AFC North.
Somehow the Ravens have found ways to win, without a good defensive performance.
They’re going to have to heavily rely to the offense from this point forward if they have hopes of reaching the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.