Gradkowski Steps Up

Filmstudy Gradkowski Steps Up

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4+ Comments filmstudy says Exactly right, B&B. Steeler fans will often complain either the officials are biased or Flacco is simply lucky.
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Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Steelers 12/1/13


The scoring of the offensive line is based on 59 offensive snaps for the Ravens (excludes 3 kneels).

Monroe: Monroe played well, primarily against Jarvis Jones. Eugene allowed 2 shared pressures, once beaten outside (Q1, 11:39) and a 2nd time bulled (Q2, 6:50) by the Steelers’ first-round selection. He didn’t have any negative events as a run blocker. Scoring: 53 blocks, 4 missed, 1 (2 x ½) pressure, 51 points (.86 per play). Jones is a mild disappointment as a pass rusher at this point, but he’s still north of the replacement level, so I make an adjustment of .02 per play. A-.

Shipley: Shipley contributed 1 of the 5 false starts. That’s an awful total for any game, but a head-scratching total at home. Heyward twice bulled him for pressures (Q1, 0:52 and Q4, 9:04). Scoring: 52 blocks, 3 missed, 2.5 pressures, 1/3 QH, 1 false start, 43 points (.73 per play). With an adjustment for the modest talent of the Steelers’ interior line, that’s still a D.

Gradkowski: Gino had one of his better games with much of his play opposite Cam Heyward, the Steelers best interior defender. Hood (Q2, 1:04) and Heyward (Q4, 6:27) each bulled him for a pressure. Scoring: 51 blocks, 6 missed, 2 pressures, 47 points (.80 per play). With an adjustment (.04 per play) for the Steelers’ interior line talent, that’s a C.

Yanda: Marshal has reestablished his Pro Bowl form over the last 3 games (A, A, A-). He made 8 blocks in level 2 and pulled successfully on 1 of 2 assignments. His only negative scoring play was a slow-developing QH by Ziggy Hood (Q2, 13:50) where he was beaten outside. Scoring: 55 blocks, 3 missed, 1 QH, 52 points (.88 per play). A-.

Oher: His penalties had been, and still are, the biggest source of improvement in 2013. Prior to Thursday he had been flagged just once (holding in the first Steelers game), but his 3 false starts had a significant drive-stalling impact:

• (Q2, 0:40) Dictated play calling at the end of the first half as 2nd and 3 became 2nd and 8
• (Q3, 9:50) Helped stall a drive that had reached the Pittsburgh 11
• (Q4, 14:53) Helped stall a drive that had reached the Pittsburgh 24

He didn’t do a terrible job of blocking Jason Worilds who he allowed 1 sack, 1/3 of a QH, and 1 pressure. However, I have to believe a reason for the false starts were his desire to get set up against Worilds who knocked down Weeden/Campbell 6 times in week 12. Scoring: 51 blocks, 4 missed, 2 pressures, 1/3 QH, 1 sack, 3 false starts, 31 points (.53 per play). I assigned the largest adjustment of any lineman for opponent quality (.06 per play), but that still leaves him a point short of passing. F. Without the penalties, he would have graded a solid C.

Others: Rick Wagner made all 4 of his blocks and Jah Reid went 2 for 2 in jumbo packages.

Flacco had another solid day highlighted by long passes completed with ATS (Adequate Time to Set) to Torrey Smith (54 yards) and Jacoby Jones (34 yards). He and Jones generated an unflagged 50-yard pass interference (Q1, 12:24) when Jacoby outraced Gay, the pass was underthrown, and Gay made significant contact before it arrived. He would later generate a 26-yard pass interference flag on Ike Taylor who could not keep up with Torrey Smith down the left sideline (Q2, 6:45).

I will often see complaints about the Ravens’ ability to draw PI flags. It’s not bias from the officials, acting on the part of the Ravens’ receivers, or some other inexplicable manifestation of luck. Flacco has one of the NFL’s strongest arms and receivers that can outrace even fast corners over 40-55 yards. A desperate, trailing corner will frequently commit a foul.

The Ravens’ line generated ATS on 19 of 36 dropbacks (53%):

Joe’s aggregate results were approximately 5 yards better than expectation based on his ATS opportunity set.

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Ken McKusick

About Ken McKusick

Known as “Filmstudy” from his handle on area message boards, Ken is a lifelong Baltimorean and rabid fan of Baltimore sports. He grew up within walking distance of Memorial Stadium and attended all but a handful of Orioles games from 1979 through 2001. He got his start in sports modeling with baseball in the mid 1980’s. He began writing about the Ravens in 2006 and maintains a library of video for every game the team has played. He’s a graduate of Syracuse with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Math who recently retired from his actuarial career to pursue his passion as a football analyst full time. If you have math or modeling questions related to sports or gambling, Ken is always interested in hearing new problems or ideas. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @filmstudyravens. More from Ken McKusick

It’s not bias from the officials, acting on the part of the Ravens’ receivers, or some other inexplicable manifestation of luck. I don't know what you are trying to say. Are you saying it is his strong arm?


I believe he's saying it's a combination of all those things that make pass interference more likely. There is increased opportunity the longer a receiver is eligible to catch a pass. If you increase the opportunity it makes sense that more will occur.


To clarify, I meant a combination of Flacco's strong arm and receivers who can outrun defenders, especially over longer distances. The corners may thus interfere with the pass in their desperate attempt to prevent a big gain.


Exactly right, B&B. Steeler fans will often complain either the officials are biased or Flacco is simply lucky.


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