The Ravens engineered a bye week by resting most of their regulars after limited appearances in a game dominated by fear of injury and the efforts of the few players enjoying their first big chance.
On the offensive line, that manifested itself in some absolutely abysmal blocking. Whether by instruction, intensity, sickness, quality of opponent, or other factor, the Ravens’ linemen as a group were awful. Missed run blocks were at the highest level in total I have recorded.
The Ravens had 82 snaps (excluding the fake punt by Koch):
Oher: A portion of the seemingly indifferent run blocking by the Ravens Sunday can be excused. In particular, it looked as if the Ravens’ tackles were instructed not to attempt cut blocks when the run was headed to the opposite side. Oher registered his most missed blocks of the season (13, previous high 8 vs. NE and NYG). The pass blocking errors must be fully charged, however, and Oher allowed a season-high 2.5 sacks. He shared a sack with Reid (Q1, 5:59) when they failed a stunt handoff allowing Johnson a free run through the left A gap. He was bulled then beaten outside by Dunlap (Q3, 5:12) for a 13-yard sack. He failed to take the stunt handoff of Gilberry (Q4, 2:00) for another 10-yard sack. Scoring: 69 snaps, 52 blocks, 13 missed, 1 pressure, 2.5 sacks, 35 points (.51 per play). That’s an F, but I’d be tempted to give him 5 points back for selective indifference which would increase the “effort” back to .58. It’s still an F.
Reid: Jah was party to 3 pressures and 2 sacks, which is going to result in an unimpressive score for a guard, but he only was charged with the full event once (Q4, 3:55) when beaten by Geathers. He maintained a square block on Atkins (Q2, 2:22) which would have been a pressure by itself, but Johnson beat McKinnie for a sack that I charged 2/3 to Bryant. Other teams are attacking Reid’s inexperience with stunts. He and Oher shared the sack from Johnson (Q1, 5:59). Scoring: 82 plays, 71 blocks, 6 missed, 2 pressures, 1 QH, 5/6 (1/3 + ½) sack, 62 points (.76 per play). With an adjustment for a significant dose of Geno Atkins, that’s a C+ result.
Birk: Matt started and made all 16 blocks. None were in level 2, nor did he have any pancakes. He won’t get a grade, but that was the best day for any of the Ravens’ linemen. Scoring: 16 Snaps, 16 blocks, 16 points (1.00 per play).
Williams: These last 4 games have seemed like an eye test at RG. Yanda/Williams/Yanda/Williams, except in this case I didn’t need to see the comparison a 2nd time to know the difference between a star and a player below the replacement level. This is a sad end to Williams’ career, playing so poorly where he had played for so long. Here are the negative marks:
- (Q1, 11:17) Shared a QH with Osemele and Pierce
- (Q2, 6:36) False start
- (Q2, 5:56) Unsportsmanlike conduct for delivering a knee and then a ridiculous flop
- (Q2, 0:16) Beaten outside for pressure by Atkins
- (Q3, 0:35) Beaten inside by Sims to blow up Pierce’s run for a loss of 2
- (Q4, 15:00) Bulled by Geathers for pressure
- (Q4, 5:23) Shared pressure with Gradkowski when bulled into Taylor by Geathers
- (Q4, 4:00) Held Sims on a play where Sims was nonetheless able to land his full weight on Taylor’s 2-yard run
Scoring: 82 snaps, 64 blocks, 12 missed, 1 penetration, 2.5 pressures, 1 false start, 1 holding, 1 unsportsmanlike conduct, 38 points (.46 per play). That’s an F and beats Ramon Harewood’s week 2 start versus Philadelphia (.48) as the new “golden Cousins” for the worst score I’ve ever recorded for a guard.
Osemele: I can’t say what the problem with KO was. He walked around as if in a fog, so he may have had flu symptoms, but he was unsure of who to block and didn’t drive with the same effort he has the past few weeks. He was finally replaced mid-series (Q2, 7:39) by the previously departed Oher. I thought it must have been an injury, but to the best of my knowledge, nothing has yet been reported. He made no attempt to block Carlos Dunlap on the reverse to Torrey Smith allowing him 10 yards in the backfield to blow up the play for a loss of four. He made no attempt to block Geno Atkins (or anyone else) and Atkins delivered a QH on Taylor (Q2, 11:20). That was a designed screen to Pierce, who also chipped, but didn’t keep Atkins from blowing up the play. Scoring: 29 snaps, 20 blocks, 6 missed, 1 penetration, 5/6 (1/3 + ½) QH, 1 false start, 12.5 points (.43 per play). F, even if adjusted for perfect scoring to 40 snaps. Whatever was wrong, I hope it will be right by Sunday.
McKinnie: Bryant had his first significant playing time of the season with 66 snaps (now 119 for the year). On a normal Sunday, his play would have stood out as the worst, but three other Ravens linemen (Oher, Osemele, Williams) played worse. I charged Bryant with 2/3 of Johnson’s sack (Q2, 2:22) when Johnson bulled McKinnie past Taylor before he slid off for a 7-yard sack. He was beaten by Johnson’s spin move (Q2, 0:33) which pressured Taylor, but he avoided the sack or QH by pushing Johnson to the ground as he went by to the inside. He was beaten outside by an underneath move from the lanky Johnson (Q2, 0:10). He moved to level 2 rather than block Gilberry who was lined up in a 3-point stance and walked into the backfield to take down Pierce for a loss of 3. And he had the memorable takedown of Pierce (Q4, 6:01). Scoring: 66 snaps, 52 blocks, 9 missed, 1 penetration, 2.5 pressures, 2/3 sack, 1 false start, 38 points (.58 per play). F.
Gradkowski: He played hard for 66 snaps, but he was part to 3 pressures (1/2 each) and had a hold on Peko (Q4, 11:36) that was away from the play. It was encouraging to see him get some run push. Scoring: 66 snaps, 60 blocks, 3 missed, 1.5 pressures (3 X ½), 1 holding, 51 points (.74 per play). Without the holding penalty he’d have had a B-, but with it his performance drops to a D+.
Harewood: Played 1 snap at TE/FB and made his block.
- Flacco had Ample Time and Space (ATS) on 5 of 9 dropbacks. With ATS, Flacco was 3 of 5 for 64 yards, 0 TD/0 INT (6.4 YPP). Without ATS, he was 1 of 3 for 2 yards (-5 net) with no TDs/INTs and 1 sack for 7 yards (-0.8 YPP). Both the with and without ATS numbers were bad and watching Flacco, it’s apparent his major concern was getting off the field without injury.
- Tyrod Taylor delivered a performance similar to the preseason with success running option football. He’s got an exciting ability to beat 1 defender which makes some of the naked boots the Ravens run effective. In particular, Taylor has the wheels to boot left, something very few right-handed QBs can do and still reset to throw. There is a lot not to like about his passing skills/technique, however. While he releases fairly quickly, he has the bad combination of limited accuracy and a lack of zip on his throws. We’re used to watching one of the NFL’s strongest arms, but Taylor throws a football almost like he’s playing darts or overhand bean bag toss. Many throws are short and when given a wide open opportunity to make a big throw (Q4, 1:33) he overthrew a wide open Jacoby Jones out of bounds in the end zone. If he were played more, he’d be an interception machine, but I think he can help the Ravens in a limited capacity.
- The Ravens ran for 209 yards on 46 carries and all the linemen had a collectively awful day? Yes, that’s how I saw it. Most of the run yards came on individual efforts on the outside by Taylor, Pierce, and Allen. In the passing game, the line generated ATS on just 14 of 38 drop backs (37%).