Expected Wins Fall, Hope Remains Photo credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Filmstudy Expected Wins Fall, Hope Remains

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Expectations after Week 2

This is the third article in a weekly series that will attempt to reset expectations for the final win total after each Ravens game.  For an explanation of the assumptions, read here.

The week 2 loss to the Raiders is a big missed opportunity for a win.  However, unlike other folks, I don’t take the balance of other information from this week as profoundly negative.  Let’s take a look at the components.

Change in expectation due to prior week’s W/L result

The Ravens went to Oakland with no line initially available. I estimated a 65% chance to win that was baked in.  Therefore, Sunday’s result changes the expected season wins by -0.65 in the absence of other considerations.

Change in expectation due to emerging talent or scheme


–Tackle play improved.  Hurst was all the way up to bad from historically bad (.55 from .21 adjusted score) with a performance that included a holding call and 6.5 pressures.  Wagner had a much better game that would not have looked out of place (.83) with his 2014 season (+0.2).

–Gillmore’s emergence appears for real.  You have to go back to Jamal Lewis to find a Raven who could break tackles like that (+0.2).

–The acquisition of Will Davis provides some depth at nickel, a major concern for this team (+0.05).


–Lewis made us remember Matt Elam 2014, but hedged because Brooks is available (-0.1).  He needs to be able to cover or tackle.

–The Ravens have demonstrated weakness against the no-huddle offense that they will need to counter (-0.2).

–The play of Arrington underscores depth concern at nickel (-0.1) which has been partially addressed.

–Pressure must improve and may the next couple of weeks.  This was partially covered in the big negative assessed last week with the loss of Suggs, but the pass rush was worse than expected (-0.2).  Schematically this was a bigger challenge versus Carr who is mobile and delivered the ball quickly.

–The acquisition of Jason Babin reduces the impact of losing Suggs slightly, but that occurred after last week’s piece was published.  Since then, the defense looked even more lost than expected without Suggs, but Babin was inactive.  Under difficult informational circumstances, I won’t make a further adjustment for the OLB changes this week, but will review after Babin plays and adjust accordingly. Make no mistake, the fortunes of the 2015 Ravens defense will be determined by OLB play and how Pees deploys that talent.

Net adjustment: -0.15 wins

Change in expectation due to injuries:

I still don’t have a sense of how long Monroe may be out.  Since I had baked in a fairly significant adjustment based on an assumption of 2 weeks missed, I’m going to assume he returns week 5 (1 more game expected with Hurst) until more accurate information is available (-0.05).  Hurst played a little better, and the line provided Flacco with ATS on 24 of 45 dropbacks (53%).  I still do not believe Hurst’s play is at a stable level.  He’ll either play better or the line will be reshuffled if Monroe does not return by week 5.

It wasn’t a terrible week for injuries, but Canty did not return after the first play of Q3 with what has been reported as a leg injury.  A knee injury has been reported for Mosley, which would be devastating if serious, but since he missed just 1 snap, I will assume it is not.  Webb was hurt and left the field for 2 defensive snaps, but returned and played reasonably well.

Meanwhile Jernigan and Taliaferro both returned.  While Jernigan did not play well, he’s a good young player from whom I expect a lot and his return means even more if Canty has been lost for any significant period (+0.15).  Taliaferro also ran well ran well and gives the Ravens additional insurance at the position while freeing a roster spot currently assigned to Magee.  Net Adjustment: +0.1 wins

Change in expectation due to opponent events:

Going through the games ahead and tagging each with a win probability, I didn’t have any significant alteration this week.  Net adjustment: 0 wins

Season expected wins after Week 2:  7.45

Ravens Expected Wins Graph going in to Week 3

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 4.31.06 PM

Looking ahead to Cincinnati: 

The Ravens come home to a crowd that should be vocal.  Even considering the opponents, it’s important to remember the team has lost 2 road games in the final minute.  This is a team with flaws and a huge missing piece, but undeniably talented on both sides of the ball.  We’ll know by next Friday if the Ravens still have a legitimate (2-2) or outside (1-3) playoff shot.  The Ravens, even in their current state, have talent on par with the Bengals and I have built in a win probability of 55%.  That’s actually a little lower than the 57% implied by the money line prices.

Don’t worry, be hopeful.

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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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