Ravens Offensive Line Solid v. Patriots

Filmstudy Ravens Offensive Line Solid v. Patriots

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OL Model and Notes vs. Patriots 1/10/14

As a whole, the Ravens offensive line played more than well enough to win on Saturday.

Flacco faced less pressure than at Pittsburgh (40% ATS) and had ATS on 25 of 45 drop backs, a solid percentage against the Pats defense. Furthermore, the Pats had to use a varied set of pass rush schemes and numbers to get the pressure they did.

The Ravens out-snapped the Patriots 73 to 62 (kneels excluded) and each Ravens’ offensive lineman played the whole game.

Hurst: I was surprised that Hurst got the start at LT, given Monroe dressed. He faced the Pats’ best pass rusher, Chandler Jones and improved relative to his play versus Harrison. However, he was the Ravens’ weakest link. Here are the plays with a negative score:

• (Q1, 6:56) He lost Jones inside for pressure as Flacco dumped off to Forsett for a gain of 1.
• (Q2, 15:00) Jones beat him outside to wrap up Flacco, but Ninkovich entered to deliver an absurdly late QH (visible on coaches video). Torrey Smith’s unnecessary roughness on the next play was stupid, but Ninkovich’s hit was a clear attempt to injure.
• (Q2, 14:28) Jones again beat Hurst around the edge to take down Flacco after he threw to Campanaro for a gain of 2.
• (Q2, 8:20) Jones beat Hurst inside and did not draw what appeared to be an illegal use of hands flag. Flacco threw left for a loss of 7.
• (Q2, 1:03) Jones pushed Hurst into Flacco as he threw complete to Daniels for a gain of 8.
• (Q3, 6:41) Jones beat Hurst inside for a QH. Yanda allowed pressure from the other side, so I gave him 1/3 of the charge.
• (Q4, 2:23) Jones pushed Hurst in front of Flacco as Collins beat Forsett for a QH. Hurst got 1/3 of the charge.
• (Q4, 2:16) On 4th and 3, Jones bulled Hurst in front of Flacco and put his arm on Joe immediately after he threw the 17-yard completion to Daniels.

Much of Hurst’s improvement came in the run game, where he had just 2 missed blocks. That was down from 7 the week before, and the Ravens ran effectively to the left. He made 1 block in level 2 and had 1 pancake, but I did not score him for any star blocks. He did a good job of letting Jones rush himself out of position on several run plays (examples are Q1, 10:08 and Q2, 14:56 and Q4, 15:00).

Scoring: 73 plays, 63 blocks, 2 missed, 4 pressures, 3 (2 + 1/3 + 2/3) QHs, 46 points (.63 per play). D. I expect a substantial step forward next season, but he needs to transform his body as well as improve his technique to be an asset.

Osemele: Kelechi had another fine game that included 6 blocks in level 2 and 3 star blocks. His highlights:

• (Q2, 5:31) He teed up Chris Jones for Zuttah then knocked down the penetrating Collins to allow Forsett to run for 3 yards when it appeared he might take a loss.
• (Q2, 2:59) He drove back Hightower 7 or 8 yards and kept blocking to the echo of the whistle.
• (Q3, 4:21) He again pinned Chris Jones for Zuttah then blocked Collins in level 2 to lead Forsett’s 10-yard run up the middle.

I charged him with just 1 negative event when Chris Jones beat him outside for pressure (Q1, 5:37).

Scoring: 73 plays, 69 blocks, 3 missed, 1 pressure, 67 points (.92 per play). With or without an adjustment, that’s an A.

Zuttah: Jeremy came back from an awful game against the Steelers to hold up reasonably well in a game he was frequently opposite Vince Wilfork. He allowed 4 pressures, but those included 3 by Siliga (Q1, 14:55 and Q3, 13:30 and Q4, 3:43) and 1 by Hightower (Q4, 0:04). Otherwise, I scored him for just 2 missed blocks while he made 4 of 5 blocks in level 2. His highlight came when he pinned Siliga for Osemele and then drove Hightower back in level 2 (Q3, 2:30).

Scoring: 73 plays, 67 blocks, 2 missed, 4 pressures, 59 points (.82 per play). With an adjustment of .05 for quality of opposition, that’s a C+ at center.

Urschel: John played well again in Yanda’s regular spot at RG. He was backed up by Hightower for pressure (Q3, 11:34) for his only negative pass-blocking event. He was also flagged for being downfield before the pass (Q2, 14:28, declined), but Yanda was even further from the LoS. He had 2 pancakes and 6 blocks in level 2. Here are my notes on his 4 starred blocks:

• (Q1, 8:49) He drove back Wilfork 5+ yards with an assist from Yanda.
• (Q1, 8:08) He threw a near-perfect cut block versus Wilfork to leave him flat.
• (Q2, 9:26) He again got low and took Wilfork to the ground as Forsett ran left for 12 yards.
• (Q4, 4:24) He pinned Wilfork for Yanda then turned to brush Hightower from the hole as Forsett ran middle for 4 yards.

Scoring: 73 plays, 68 blocks, 2 missed, 1 pressure, 1 illegal man downfield, 64 points, (.88 per play). With a .05 adjustment for opposition, that’s an A. John has been outstanding when the Ravens needed him most. If I hear criticism of Urschel this offseason, I hope it’s to discredit his astronomy publication rather than his on-field efforts, which exceeded any reasonable expectation.

Yanda: The Ravens have a number of big contracts they need to unwind, but one you will not hear discussed is the money given to Yanda. It’s been among the best investments the Ravens have ever made. Ben Grubbs’ decline is in full swing with a mediocre year in New Orleans. Meanwhile, Marshal turned in a season for the ages at RG and plugged half of the Ravens hole at tackle in the playoffs. Versus the Pats, Marshal gave too much ground and was beaten outside for a pressure by Ninkovich (Q2, 0:27). I scored him with 1/3 of a QH (see Hurst above). He made 4 blocks in level 2 and 2 pancakes. Amazingly, the Ravens had Yanda pull 4 times from RT and he was successful 3 times. His starred blocks came on runs of 7, 19, and 10 yards.

Scoring: 73 plays, 68 blocks, 3 missed, 1 pressure, 1/3 QH, 65 points (.89 per play). A, even before adjustment.

Joe had a solid evening of passing given the strength of the Pats’ secondary. To summarize his results relative to the provision of ample time and space (ATS):

Screenshot 2015-01-13 08.46.16

Relative to expectation:

Screenshot 2015-01-13 08.46.41

Joe’s results were virtually exactly as expected given the pressure applied by the Pats. Given the strength of the Patriots defense is at cornerback, I’d say the game plan was outstanding in use of crossing routes and the results slightly understate how well Flacco played.

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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

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