Rookie Report – Week 15
Another weekend, another loss for a struggling Baltimore squad. For the most part, the rookies have put forth inconsistent performances over the past few weeks, so it is a great time to see whose stock is up and whose is down in this week’s edition Rookie Report.
Smith clearly prefers sacking the quarterback in pairs, as he recorded two this weekend after notching a pair against the Steelers earlier this season. Za’Darius’ first sack Sunday was a good display of power, as he absolutely shucked aside tight end Travis Kelce and quickly wrapped up the quarterback.
The second sack was more of a coverage sack, but Smith still made a decent move to get off the block that was initially effective, and again promptly rallied to bring down the elusive Alex Smith.
Smith added an additional 1.5 tackles to his two sacks over 34 total plays, leading to a +0.7 PFF grade. It was a great day overall for the former Kentucky man, and I am going to completely overlook a phantom holding call on #90 during the opening kickoff return of the second half where the refs totally blew it.
The speedy Clay continues to be productive and consistent at the returner position. The Utah product took six kickoff returns for 25-yard average, and added two punt returns for 10 and 17 yards.
Clay’s highlight of the day was a first quarter 39-yard kickoff return setting up the Ravens first touchdown. The rookie took the kickoff at the 16 (the Chiefs were backed up due to a 15-yard penalty on their preceding touchdown), and while the blocking up the right sideline was very good, Clay showed great patience to wait for the outside lane to develop. He accelerated quickly and got all available yardage.
Clay is making a serious case to be considered in the team’s plans at the returner position as we head into the offseason.
Early on, Allen once again fumbled the football in devastating fashion. There was more traffic around the ball on this particular fumble compared to last week, but Allen simply has to secure the football when going to the ground. On this occasion it cost the Ravens an immediate seven points as Tyvon Branch took it to the house.
Terrance West was the beneficiary of Allen’s mistake as the John Harbaugh benched Buck for the duration of the contest, and West logged 31 total snaps. Even rookie Terrence Magee benefited from Allen’s mistake as he tallied two carries and a catch.
The defensive tackle saw the field for just five snaps this weekend recording a half tackle. Despite suggestions of increased playing time, Sunday served to only continue Davis’ extended streak of riding the pine. Brent Urban’s continual development and increased production is one of the many factors that have combined to result in Davis’ loss of playing time.
I wouldn’t write Davis off yet though, he is a talented player behind a deep, skillful group of Baltimore interior linemen.
- Maxx Williams had a decent game, racking up a respectable five catches for 31 yards. On the other hand, his production was mostly in garbage time, and he did commit an offensive pass interference penalty (though he believed—quite reasonably—that the screen pass had been made when he began blocking 15 yards downfield).
- Undrafted wide receiver Daniel Brown saw 22 snaps, but failed to make the box score resulting in a -0.9 PFF rating.
The Ravens will welcome Pittsburgh to town this Sunday in what figures to be one of the least competitive Steelers-Ravens games in recent memory. Let’s watch how some of these youngsters—in the doghouse or otherwise—finish up their rookie campaigns.