This is 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.
At last a win! Unfortunately, there are still lots of issues.
Change in expectation due to prior week’s W/L result: I estimated the Ravens with a 55% chance to win at Pittsburgh. Thursday’s win changes the expected season wins by +0.45 before we consider other factors.
Change in expectation due to emerging talent or scheme:
–The biggest positive coming out of the Pittsburgh game was the first week of positive offensive line play across the board. If you want a reason to hope the 2015 Ravens can turn it around, it’s the OL. It is rare in the NFL that the running game can lead a team to a comeback win, but Flacco was off and the Ravens nonetheless rolled over the Steelers (+.3).
–Will Davis has arrived at just the right time. I’ll be very surprised if he does not take a full-time role as an outside corner in the nickel (+.15). This week’s film review must have been difficult for Arrington, who appears to be out of a job just 4 games into his contract. Cornerback remains an area of extremely limited depth for this team.
–No reductions this week.
Net adjustment: +0.45 wins
Change in expectation due to injuries: Hurst played well for the first time this season, reducing fears of a longer absence from Monroe. The Ravens still need him back, but I won’t make a further adjustment for the Monroe/Hurst gap this week.
The Ravens receivers have been aiding Flacco to date with solid YAC, but that will likely be reduced without Steve Smith and Michael Campanaro. For now, I’m going to assume Smith misses 6 weeks of productivity with the injury, although he may well be active for some of that (-.45).
Crockett Gillmore’s calf strain is another significant, ongoing injury. Harbaugh is already hedging about his availability versus the Browns and termed his calf strain as “very similar” to Canty’s. I’m going to make another small negative adjustment, reflecting an expectation of 1 more week missed plus the possibility of reduced effectiveness the week after (-.05).
The extra time off from a Thursday game finally should benefit the Ravens. Whether it is Monroe, Canty, Gillmore, Smith, or perhaps even some reduction in nagging injuries to the active players, I expect net positive news on injuries this week. (+.05)
Net Adjustment: -0.45 wins
Change in expectation due to opponent events: Lots of teams are going through injury issues now, but the Browns’ problems in the secondary are the most relevant. I increased the Ravens chance to win that game as well as San Diego by a total of 5%. Net adjustment: +0.05 wins
Season expected wins after week 4: 7.15 As you can see, the Ravens now have some purple (an actual win) on their chart and Harbaugh has avoided his first 4-game losing streak during the regular season.
Looking ahead to the Browns: The Ravens are currently favored by 6.5 over the Browns. Adjusting out the vig from money line prices shows betting public thinks the Ravens have a 73% chance to win. However, I think the offensive line will again step up to the challenge in a divisional game and the Browns appear to have issues at cornerback. I make it 75%.