Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Saints 11/24/14
Ravens Answer “Who Dat” And Then Ask, “Who’s Your Daddy?”
Each of the offensive linemen played all 56 snaps (excludes penalties and the final kneel).
Monroe: Eugene continued his up-and-down season with a mediocre performance. He was beaten outside by Galette for a QH on the incomplete that ended the Ravens 2nd drive (Q1, 6:20). Galette again effortlessly brushed by him for a QH and disrupted Flacco’s pass to end another drive (Q4, 11:09). Haralson shot by him to take down Forsett for a loss of 4 (Q4, 5:08). He was also flagged for being illegally downfield at a depth you will rarely see called (3 yards from the LoS, Q4, 4:16). That’s never called on screen passes and the selective enforcement almost knocked the Ravens out of range for a game-sealing field goal. If you’re looking for a highlight, he made a pair of blocks to seal the left edge on Forsett’s last TD (Q4, 2:59). Scoring: 56 plays, 49 blocks, 4 missed, 1 penetration, 2 QHs, 1 illegal man downfield, 38 points (.68 per play). That’s a low C with adjustment. Think LT play can’t get any worse? Thanksgiving would be a good day to re-watch your 2012 videos from the regular season and focus on Michael Oher.
Osemele: Kelechi had a near-perfect run-blocking night, but had 3 costly mistakes as a pass blocker:
• (Q2, 2:23) He failed to pick up the stunting Galette who beat him inside to sack Flacco for a loss of 9.
• (Q3, 15:00) He failed to pick up the delayed blitz from Lofton who pressured Flacco.
• (Q4, 4:23) He was flagged for illegal use of hands that offset Keenan Lewis’ pass interference against Steve Smith inside the 5-yard line. Kelechi’s penalty is difficult to pick up with any of the 3 angles available on NFL rewind.
Osemele also had 5 starred blocks, the most of any Raven. The gains on those plays were 38, 2, 13, 24, and 35, so he had a significant personal contribution to the running game. All 5 of those were impressive, but I liked his snowplowing of Hawthorne (Q4, 5:56) since you will rarely see a LG make a block that pushes a defender past a run off right tackle. He had 8 blocks in level 2 and 2 pancakes. Scoring: 56 plays, 53 blocks, 1 missed, 1 pressure, 1 sack, 39 points (.70 per play). I adjusted him by the maximum .10 for quality of competition, having 1 star block above the threshold of 4, and the enormous impact of his best run blocks. That’s still just a C at guard, but this is a case where I’d say it was an A+ effort as a run blocker and an F as a pass blocker (8 points on 25 plays, .32).
Zuttah: When I saw the Ravens had 5 runs for a loss, I thought review would likely prove Zuttah as the primary culprit, but he was responsible for just 1 of the penetrations. He was driven back by Jenkins to blow up Forsett for a loss of 1 (Q2, 3:16). With the Saints bringing numbers all night, Zuttah’s highlight was handing off Hicks to Osemele, then redirecting Lofton’s A-gap blitz to allow Flacco to convert 3rd and 12 with a 14-yard pass to Brown (Q3, 11:31). Scoring: 56 plays, 52 blocks, 2 missed, 1 penetration, 1 pressure, 48 points (.89 per play). With an adjustment of .03 for opponent quality, that’s an A-.
Yanda: Marshal had a very un-Yanda like night of flopping on the ground. Some of it was cut blocking, but he slipped on several occasions and seemed to be having trouble getting traction on the turf. We’ve seen frequent slipping on the turf in Baltimore and I wonder if it might have been a footwear issue. He didn’t have any catastrophic plays, but he allowed a penetration on each of the first 2 drives and was beaten outside by Galette for a pressure (Q4,15:00). He had just 2 blocks in level 2 and no pancakes. His only star block came when he pulled left to block Hawthorne and lead Forsett’s 2-yard conversion on 3rd and 2 (Q4, 3:24). Scoring: 56 plays, 51 blocks, 2 missed, 2 penetrations, 1 pressure, 45 points (.80 per play). With adjustment, that’s a C+, which breaks a string of 4 consecutive A’s.
Wagner: Wagner played the best game of his career. Hicks beat him across his face and pushed him to the turf (Q3, 12:16) to take down Forsett for a loss of 2. I scored him as making every other block including 4 in level 2, 1 successful pull, and 2 star blocks. He teed up Hicks for Yanda and then blocked Lofton in level 2 to open up one side of the hole for Forsett’s 13-yard TD run (Q2, 9:14). He passed off Hicks to Yanda then sealed Lofton to lead Forsett’s 35-yard run right (Q4, 5:56). Scoring: 56 plays, 55 blocks, 1 penetration, 53 points, (.95 per play). This was the 6th time he received a grade of at least A- this season, but his highest raw score by far (previously .86 vs. Cleveland and Pittsburgh). A (.99 after adjustment).
Despite a solid performance by the line, Flacco had ample time and space (ATS) on just 10 of 25 drop backs (40%). That was primarily a function of blitzes by number and overload. Summarized:
Summarizing the results relative to expectation:
This was the best game relative to the opportunity set that Flacco has ever delivered in a noisy environment and he did it with success both under pressure and with a clean pocket. Contributing factors include:
• Justin Forsett’s fine night
• Outstanding YAC by the receivers
• On-target passes when the Saints rushed 6 (gains of 15, 0, 11, and 15), 7 (gains of 14 and 6), and 8 (gain of 14). To be clear, those are the 7 times the Saints rushed 6 men or more and Joe completed 6.
Flacco finished his 4 games against the NFC South with an amazing 461 yards above expectation based on the opportunity set provided. That works out to an extra 4.2 yards per play above his 2010-13 averages on those 109 drop backs including 11 TDs, 2 INTs, and just 2 sacks. To further put that in context, Joe has been a net 200 yards below expectation in all other games.