The Ravens played one of the most talented pass rushes they will face this year without their best lineman, and predictably had their worst game of the season as a unit.
Flacco had ATS on just 16 of 43 drop backs (37%) despite the fact that the Broncos brought 5 or more pass rushers on just 6 snaps. After halftime, the Broncos rushed 5 only twice. It’s all but impossible to move the ball effectively when the defense can get consistent pressure with 4 men.
Caldwell must find a way to scheme for more time and space in the remaining games this season. Whether by keeping in additional blockers, running more bootlegs, or using a 6-man line, the Ravens need to provide Flacco more time, even if that means fewer receivers in the pattern.
The Ravens had 61 snaps (excluding Flacco’s kneel):
Oher: He was having a decent game (.75) through 59 snaps, but he was party to sacks on the last 2 plays. Scoring: 52 blocks, 3 missed, 4 pressures, 1 + 1/3 sack, 36 points (.59 per play). That would be a high F, but he’s upgraded to a D for the quality of Dumervil.
Reid: Miller slipped between him and the occupied Birk (Q3, 2:27) for pressure. I split the charge for the 2nd sack (Q4, 0:33) 3 ways. Oher and Reid messed up the stunt pickup on the left side while Williams was bulled by Wolfe. Reid didn’t have a particularly good game, but the Broncos were relentless in their stunts and for the most part, Reid was OK. Scoring: 54 blocks, 5 missed, 1 pressure, 1/3 sack, 50 points (.82 per play). With the Broncos scheme, I’d upgrade that to a C+. Excluding the game against Oakland, when he entered after the injury to Williams, Reid has been a pleasant surprise, turning in consistently adequate play in his first exposure at guard.
Birk: Matt avoided his worst score of the season by a single point. Birk failed to pick up Dumervil’s stunt and shared a QH with Williams (Q3, 2:04). He missed a screen block on Miller that allowed Rice to be tackled for a loss of 1. He was penalized for the 2nd time this season for holding (Q2, 7:38) which negated (and created the space for) a 15-yard run by Pierce. Scoring: 54 blocks, 4 missed, 1 penetration, ½ QH, 1 offensive holding, 44.5 points (.73 per play). F.
Williams: The Ravens prospects with Williams at RG are grave indeed. He’s played abysmally this season including an aggregate score of .45 per play beginning with the Oakland game. His highlight of Sunday was probably his takedown of Von Miller by the neck (Q3, 3:17). Williams was beaten and flagged for holding on the play, but he kept Miller from applying a big hit to Flacco. Scoring: 51 blocks, 3 missed, 1 penetration, 1 pressure, 1.5 QH, 5/6 (1/2 + 1/3) sack, 1 offensive holding, 31.5 points (.52 per play). Bobbie blocked for the negative cycle, with at least a fraction of every possible downgrade. F
Osemele: KO had a difficult time controlling Miller, who has been making a lot of RTs look bad this season. Miller had at least 1 sack (10 total) in the previous 6 games to go along with 4 forced fumbles, but Kelechi ended that streak. Miller’s 2 QHs came on a free run on a delayed blitz through the left B-gap (Q3, 9:15), and when he chased down Flacco by the left sideline on a slow developing play (also uncharged, Q4, 14:56). Kelechi shared a sack by Wolfe when bulled by Miller (Q4, 2:36), and shared 2 other QHs with Williams (Q1, 6:38 and Q1, 4:11) by Dumervil and Ayers respectively. Scoring: 48 blocks, 6 missed, 4 pressures, 1 (2 X ½) QH, ½ sack, 34 points (.56 per play). Osemele’s F is upgraded to a D+ for limiting one of the most dominant pass rushers in the game.
• With ATS, Flacco was 11/16 for 144 yards, 1 TD/0 INT (9.0 YPP).
• Without ATS, he was 9/24 for 110 yards (78 net) with 1 TD, 1 INT, and was sacked 3 times for 32 yards (2.9 YPP). Pitta’s 61-yard TD, which included 56 YAC, represented 78% of this net yardage total.
• This was the 4th time the Flacco had been held to less than 40% ATS since the beginning of the 2011 season. Amazingly, the Ravens had won each of the previous 3 times (Dal 33%, Hou playoff 31%, Stl 38%). The level of pressure is disturbing, but more so because it came in a home game.
• No one play would have reversed Sunday’s outcome, but I was bothered by Flacco’s desire to run a last snap when he could have allowed the clock to expire. That was an unnecessary risk and he took a big hit.
• Dennis Pitta was the bright spot for the Ravens offense. In addition to the 2 TDs, he made a pair of nice blocks. He sealed Miller on the short pass to Leach (Q1, 13:22) and blocked Williams and Woodyard simultaneously on Pierce’s 14-yard run left (Q2, 8:12).