Defensive Notes vs. Browns 11/3/13
The Ravens lost this game on a handful of big Yards After the Catch (YAC) plays that led to scores or changed field position.
(Q1, 11:25) Campbell threw a 9-yard pass to Little between Webb and Daryl Smith. Both Ravens went for the ball, but Little came away with it and weaved through traffic for 23 YAC past tackle attempts from Ihedigbo and Elam.
(Q2, 11:22) Little caught a short crossing route 2 yards from the LOS and turned up the left sideline for a gain of 15. He negated the play with his stupid taunting penalty, but the Ravens did not find a way to stop allowing YAC.
(Q2, 10:16) Devone Bess slipped the coverage of Graham and caught a pass 2 yards from the LoS between the numbers and right hash. He juked Webb out of his shoes for 18 more YAC and the TD.
(Q4, 12:01) Campbell completed an 18-yard throw to Little between the numbers and left hash. If you freeze the video there, Little is in the middle of 5 defenders, but Chykie Brown, Graham, Daryl Smith, Elam, and Ihedigbo are not able to make a play until Little has 28 YAC.
(Q4, 2:00) Under pressure, Campbell completed a 1-yard shovel to Ogbonnaya on 2nd and 13. The Browns RB would outrace Ihedigbo for 13 YAC down the left sideline and a game-sealing first down.
In total, the Browns had 158 YAC among 260 passing yards by Campbell. That’s unacceptable. Looking back by week, you’ll see a disturbing trend when the Ravens play that poorly after the catch:
What made the 61% worse than the other bad results is the fact that the Browns did not get a receiver behind the defense all day who outraced single coverage to the end zone.
All of the Browns’ 68 snaps were competitive:
- Versus the Run: 28 plays, 73 yards, 2.6 YPC
- Versus the Pass: 40 plays, 242 yards, 6.1 YPP
- Overall: 68 plays, 315 yards, 4.6 YPPA
By number of defensive backs:
- 3 DBs: 4 plays, 0 yards
- 4 DBs: 39/178, 4.6 YPPA, 1 sack, 1 TO
- 5 DBs: 22/123, 5.6, 2 sacks
- 6 DBs: 1/10, 10.0 YPPA
- 7 DBs: 1/0
By number of pass rushers:
- 3: 2/0, 0.0 YPP, 1 sack
- 4: 19/148, 7.8 YPP, 1 sack
- 5: 13/52, 4.0 YPP, 1 sack
- 6: 3/34, 11.3 YPP
- 7: 3/8, 2.7 YPP
• The Jimmy Smith injury was interesting. Following Doss’ punt muff, the Ravens were flagged for 12 men on the field (Q3, 5:50). Corey Graham ran on the field late as the 12th as Ihedigbo called for a timeout. After the mark off, the team reset, Graham ran off, looked back, then kept coming off as Smith set up at RCB. Daryl Smith seemed to be waving off Jimmy Smith, but he didn’t go. The Ravens stopped McGahee for a 2-yard gain and Graham then replaced Smith for the rest of the game. It was an odd sequence that begs the question as to whether Jimmy Smith had already been told he would be out before the series began.
• The inability to contain Campbell without a spy led to 2 important runs. Campbell ran for 7 yards (Q2, 10:50) immediately preceding the TD to Bess. He also scrambled for 12 yards on 3rd and 3 (Q4, 6:00) to extend the game-sealing drive.
• In the 1st half, the pass rush delivered a number of big hits on Campbell. Arthur Brown delivered a sack (Q1, 2:11) and a QH (Q1, 0:15) on consecutive snaps played. Daryl Smith repeated the success with a QH and sack on consecutive plays (beginning Q2, 2:00). Canty had a big hit on Campbell on the 32-yard pass to Little (Q1, 11:25).
• The run defense held up well despite the loss of Marcus Spears. I had trouble keeping a straight face as I was getting through that sentence. Brandon Williams played well in 15 snaps. The team is again at risk for reducing Ngata’s effectiveness with overuse. He played 54 of 68 snaps (79%) and looked gassed as a pass rusher in the 2nd half.
• I’m not sure why McClain is playing over Bynes. Josh’s role has been reduced to the odd 2nd and long situation (8 snaps). The current situation demands change both for the present and future. (More in this week’s Tale of the Tape.)
While this has been a very difficult season for the Ravens, I don’t think it bears much similarity to 2007:
• The 2007 team had a pass rush severely depleted due to injuries, most notably the loss of Trevor Price, their top inside rusher. The 2007 team had to scheme for pressure and had their dime and nickel backs (Sapp and Ivy) tied for the team lead in sacks (2!) midway through the week 9 game at Pittsburgh.
• The 2007 team had a production line of injuries at cornerback. Jimmy Smith’s injury is significant, but this Ravens team has had their top 3 in position since week 1.
• The 2007 team had Willis McGahee rush for 1,207 yards. At the midpoint, Rice leads the 2013 Ravens with 259 rushing yards.
• And most importantly, the 2007 team had Kyle Boller competing for playing time with an injured Steve McNair. It was the arrival of Joe Flacco in 2008 which set the franchise on the path of high expectations which makes the 2013 season seem like fingernails on a chalkboard.