Offensive Line Notes vs. Texans 9/22/13
The Ravens offense did a few things well Sunday despite rumors of its demise.
For the second consecutive week, the team converted exactly 8 of 16 3rd downs. In addition, one of the failures was subsequently converted by Joseph’s silly taunting foul. What’s more, they relied far less on pick routes to do so.
However, we discussed the Ravens’ conversion success last week and I want to talk about Tandon Doss’ 82-yard, punt-return TD (Q2, 1:05) which broke open the game.
The Ravens lined up 2 X 2 on the gunners with Chykie Brown and Corey Graham covering the rookie left gunner (LG) AJ Bouye. Jimmy Smith and Michael Huff were on the right gunner (RG), whose number is difficult to catch even on the coaches video, but I believe it is fullback Greg Jones.
Both gunners released to the outside at the snap & Brown pushed the LG well out of bounds just as Smith did the same to the RG. Graham and Huff set up along their respective boundaries to block upon reentry.
It’s unsportsmanlike conduct if the gunner does not attempt to get back in bounds. As I see it, Jones went out at the 26 and returned to the field of play at the 49. Meanwhile Bouye was blocked out at the 23 and returned at the 41.
Doss fielded the 58-yard punt at the 18-yard line on the left numbers, so Bouye was the near gunner. When he again saw fit to reenter he was leaned on by Brown and Graham again, but finally fought through.
Doss collected the ball and immediately made the personal protector, Keo, miss as he slipped trying to contain the play outside. Tandon then cut back to the outside and made Braman miss at the 25-yard line, then cut back between Swearinger (plus the prodigal LG Bouye, both to the left) and Sharpton at the 29-yard line. From there he outraced everybody including Lechler down the right sideline and past the cheering Ray Lewis.
With the exception of the gunners, the play went largely unblocked.
The scoring is based on 57 offensive snaps for the Ravens, all of which were competitive.
McKinnie: Bryant was flagged twice for face masks in the span of 4 plays. If you are looking for a bright spot, he only killed 1 drive. Scoring: 47 blocks, 7 missed, .5 penetrations, .5 pressures, 1/3 QH, 2 facemasks, 27 points (.47 per play). F. Without the 2 penalties, his score would have been .79. I’ll leave it to you to decide if you think his grade should have been different because you don’t think he should be charged 9 points for each of those penalties.
Osemele: He pulled successfully on 3 of the first 8 plays. He missed a few blocks, but I thought he had a fine game against (primarily) RDE Antonio Smith. He was flagged for a hold on Smith (Q2, 7:44), but it looked like a straight pancaking to me from all the angles available on the broadcast and coaches video. The official was right there, so I suppose he must have seen something, but McKinnie had his hands outside his body on Mercilus. Scoring: 51 blocks, 6 missed, 1 holding, 45 points (.79 per play). That would be a C without adjustment, or an A with the hold assigned to McKinnie and an upgrade for quality of competition. I’m going to get on the Osemele party bus with this one and make it a B+.
Gradkowski: Gino is having a great deal of trouble adapting to NFL pass blocking. He was party to 4 more negative events against Houston. Those included a failed stunt pickup of Crick (Q3, 12:53) on Torrey Smith’s overturned 23-yard reception that left Flacco flattened. His highlight of the game came when he pancaked Mitchell to lead Leach for the Ravens final 3rd-down conversion (Q4, 3:43). It was a small victory, but he got up and pumped his fists. Scoring: 48 blocks, 3 missed, .5 penetrations, 1.5 pressures, 1.33 QH, 40 points (.70 per play). I would adjust him some for the quality of the Texans’ pass rush, but he’d still be an F.
Yanda: Marshal has now gone 22 games without being party to a sack. However, he faced the opponent against whom he allowed the last 2 in the 2011 Divisional playoff game, and Yanda had a mighty struggle to avoid another. He was party to an extraordinary 5 negative pass-blocking events in just 26 dropbacks, which is awful until you hear it was mostly JJ Watt applying the pressure. Watt outmatches Yanda most notably in arm length and bulled him twice for pressure (Q1, 6:02 and Q2, 5:06) and beat him once to the outside to take down Pierce for a loss of 2. He also failed to pick up the stunting Reed (Q2, 7:08) for another full pressure. Scoring: 49 blocks, 2 missed, 1 penetration, 3.5 pressures, .33 QH, 39 points (.68 per play). Unadjusted, that would be a high F at guard, but given his opponent was the best defensive player in the game today, I’d call it a D+.
Oher: Michael regressed from a fine showing against the Browns. He was beaten outside for a 9-yard sack by Mercilus (Q2,12:11). With Mercilus on Flacco’s legs, Antonio Smith dislodged the football to get credit for the sack, but this was all on Oher. On the first play of Q3 (15:00) Watt beat Oher inside for an 8-yard sack. Scoring: 47 blocks, 7 missed, .5 pressures, 2 sacks, 34 points (.60 per play). D.
Other Offensive Notes:
• Flacco had Ample Time and Space (ATS) on just 9 of 26 drop backs (35%).
• With ATS Flacco completed 8 of 9 for 112 yards, 0 TDs, and 0 INT (12.4 YPP). That’s almost 4 yards better than his expectation based on his 2010-12 results (8.6 YPP).
• Without ATS he was 8 of 15 for 59 gross yards with no TDs/INTs and took 2 sacks for 17 (42 net yards). That’s 2.5 YPP, which is below his 2010-12 average of 4.0.
• Overall, Flacco threw for approximately 9 yards more in aggregate than would have been expected from the opportunity set provided based solely on time and space.