Particularly considering the short rest and potential injury list for the Steelers, the ability to treat Sunday’s game like an exhibition could prove valuable down the stretch.
* Pernell McPhee was inactive for a 2nd consecutive week.
* Haloti Ngata and Jimmy Smith both dressed, but took PTO days to ride the exercise bike.
* Bobby Williams was relieved on what we can only hope is not disability retirement after 14 snaps.
* Rice had his last carry on the Ravens first offensive snap of the 2nd half and left to investigate a workers’ comp claim after taking a late hit from Curry (Q3, 8:38).
* Ed Reed left midway through the 3rd quarter for a doctor’s appointment. Reportedly, the doc told him to watch Byron Leftwich’s Bugs-Bunny-like wind up and call him Tuesday morning.
* Joe Flacco, Michael Oher, and Marshal Yanda all were observed leaving early (by 6 snaps) for the team party.
The Ravens had 61 snaps (excluding Koch’s run) versus the Raiders and again had fewer snaps than their opponent (73):
Oher: Michael made no attempt to block Carter, who pressured Flacco (Q2, 5:39). He was beaten inside by Carter for a 2nd pressure, but Flacco completed a 26-yard pass to Doss nonetheless (Q3, 6:25). He missed 2 run blocks, but otherwise had a near perfect day. He had 2 blocks in level 2 and pulled successfully on his only attempt. Scoring: 51 blocks, 2 missed, 2 pressures, 47 points (.85 per play). B. It was easily Michael’s best game of the season.
Williams: I read a post-game quote from Williams indicating that he was hurt and it was good Jah Reid should get some playing time while he rests for Pittsburgh. At his age, there will always be a question as to whether he should get his job back if he has a bad game. Des Bryant beat him inside for a penetration to take down Rice for a loss of 3 (Q1, 10:11). He blocked inside to assist Birk as Mitchell and Branch shot through the left B gap for a QH (Q1, 5:56). On the very next play, he was beaten by Bryant inside as Rice was bottled up for a loss of 2 (Q1, 5:26). Bryant then rushed between he and Birk to pressure Flacco on the 40-yard completion to Dickson (Q1, 4:19). Scoring: 14 plays, 10 blocks, 0 missed, 2 penetrations, ½ pressure, 1 QH, 2 points (.14 per play). Too few snaps to get a grade? Well, let’s see…in the fine tradition of Melky Cabrera’s would-have-been batting title, we’d have to give him 26 free blocks to bring him to 28/40 =.70 per play. That would be what would be required to bring him up to a D-. Williams earned an F for this performance.
Birk: He made 7 of 8 blocks in level 2 after a poor mobility game against the Browns. He shared the aforementioned penetration with Williams and another with McKinnie (Q4, 2:45) when Kelly bulled him 3 yards deep in the backfield to blow up Pierce’s run left. Scoring: 61 plays, 55 blocks, 4 missed, ½ penetration, ½ pressure, 49 points (.89 per play). B.
Yanda: Marshal was beaten outside by Kelly for a pressure (Q2, 1:37) on Rice’s 12-yard reception. That was his only pass blocking error. He made 3 blocks in level 2 and pulled successfully on all 3 attempts. His pull stood up Bryant on Rice’s 7-yard TD run (Q2, 0:27). Scoring: 55 plays, 51 blocks, 3 missed, 1 pressure, 49 points (.89 per play). B+. Yanda and Osemele (if he is still at RT) will share responsibility for moving Ziggy Hood on Sunday. Despite playing very poorly, Hood plays approximately 90% of Pittsburgh’s defensive snaps. It’s a matchup the Ravens should and must exploit.
Osemele: Kelechi allowed a QH when beaten inside by Burris (Q3, 9:47). He zone blocked to the left in support of a naked boot right (Q2, 13:10) and Shaughnessy, who was initially opposite him registered a QH (not charged to Osemele). Of concern are 8 additional missed blocks. There was not a particular pattern, but those included 2 L2NBs, a miss in level 2, a missed cut, a bull by Houston, once beaten inside by Houston, once pancaked by Bilukidi, and one play with no block attempted. He made 1 successful block in level 2 and delivered 1 pancake. Scoring: 61 plays, 51 blocks, 8 missed, 1 QHs, 1 holding, 43 points (.70 per play). C-.
McKinnie: Bryant has now played 42 non-penalty snaps in the team’s first 9 games. Essentially, he’s played less than 1 game, so there would seem to be little chance he can play the requisite number of snaps reputed to be the minimum for him to collect his playing-time incentive. However, since the Ravens have played so few offensive snaps in the first 9 games, there is still a decent chance he would make the bonus level by playing every remaining snap in the last 7. The organization might feel it would be unseemly to start McKinnie beginning against the Steelers and sit him for a half, say, at some later date to avoid paying the bonus even if he had played well. Those are 2013 cap dollars, so the expenditure should be carefully considered. In any case, McKinnie’s financial future is likely resting on his performance over the next 7+ games, so he should be motivated. Scoring: 6 plays, 5 blocks, ½ penetration, 4 points (.67 per play). Both of his missed blocks on the season have resulted in shared penetrations, but his aggregate per play score is .90.
Gradkowski: Gino got his first paying time since week 1 and played 6 snaps at RG, making 5 blocks. His best block of the day came on Koch’s TD run (Q3, 5:44).
Reid: Jah played 47 snaps in relief of Williams. He made the big block on Wheeler to spring Rice for his 7-yard TD run (Q2, 0:27). He was beaten outside by Bryant for a pressure (Q2, 0:45) and surrendered a late QH to Bryant (Q3, 2:47). He was also flagged for an illegal use of hands that I can’t pick up clearly on either the standard TV broadcast or the end zone view (Q2, 6:08). I’d expect him to start versus the Steelers. Williams is more familiar with Keisel, but Reid is a little quicker to pick up delayed pressure. It would not shock me if we saw Osemele move to LG either as part of a line shakeup. Scoring: 47 snaps, 43 blocks, 2 missed, 1 pressure, 1 QH, 1 illegal use of hands, 32 points (.68 per play).
Other offensive notes:
- Flacco had ATS on 16 of 34 attempts vs. Oakland (47%). With ATS he was 10/16 for 185 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT (11.6 YPP). That’s outstanding, but…
- Without ATS, Flacco completed 11 of 18 passes for 156 yards, 0/0 TD/INT (8.7 YPP). That YPP is his best without ATS in the 3 years I have been scoring it. He has been between 8.0 and 8.2 on 3 occasions (Cle/week 3/2010, Stl/week 3/2011, and Cin/week 1/2012)
- For the season, Flacco now has a QB rating of 108.3 at home and 62.7 on the road.
- The Ravens lead the league by a wide margin in percentage of TDs in goal-to-go situations. They are now 24 of 26 in such situations (92.3%). The league average is 69.4%.
- On defense, the Ravens have the best red-zone percentage of any team (36.1% vs. a league average of 52.9%)
- Jacoby Jones has the 2 longest plays of any sort in the NFL this season. His 105-yard return is the 5th longest in NFL history and the 108 is the longest. There have been 5 kickoff returns of exactly 105 yards this season.