This game looked a lot worse in person than it did when I scored it.
The Redskins got solid pressure with an economy of rushers, but it wasn’t as overwhelming as it seemed at the game.
So how was it that Joe Flacco threw for 112 yards less (see below) than expectation for his opportunity set? I think there were several contributing factors:
– The skill position players had a lousy day of pass catching. Breshad Perriman did a poor job of tracking Flacco’s bomb down the right sidelines (Q2, 9:19), but he also failed to fully extend. That alone explains more than 40% of the missing yards.
– There was little YAC. That should be self-evident by the fact Flacco dropped back 49 times, but did not complete a pass for more than 15 yards.
– The Redskins corners, in particular, did a good job minimizing opportunities on the outside.
– The injury to Steve Smith took away one of Flacco’s best receiving options on a day where Chris Moore was inactive.
– The Ravens lined up for 12 plays with 1 WR, 3 TEs, and 1 RB. That’s a combination the Ravens have not used frequently. It isn’t explosive and might have been run to cover weakness at tackle. The Ravens ran 7 times for 29, passed 4 times for 12, and had an illegal formation penalty.
– The ATS standard I use broadly categorizes opportunities into 2 groups based on a 3-second standard and room to step into the throw. However, the 4th second of protection (between the 3 second ATS requirement and 4 seconds) is exponentially more valuable than the 3rd. I don’t believe Joe had that 4th second very often versus the Redskins, but when he did (ex: Q1, 0:32), he didn’t make it count.
– The offense is still run primarily from the shotgun, which severely limits the effectiveness of play action.
Here are Joe’s results against the Redskins by ATS:
Summarizing his results relative to expectation:
Summarizing the Redskins pass rush by numbers and ATS:
Offensive Line Scoring
The Ravens ran 68 scored snaps versus the Redskins (excludes penalties).
Lewis: Alex returned to the starting lineup at LT after playing effectively at LG for the first 3 weeks. He didn’t play well, including portions of 8 pressure events. In racing form:
–(Q1, 11:37): Smith swims by inside for pressure
–(Q1, 10:55): Bulled by Kerrigan for pressure
–(Q1, 7:10): Bulled by Smith who then tips pass
–(Q2, 9:12): Bulled by Smith to compress pocket on sack charged 2/3 to Urschel
–(Q2, 8:31): Bulled by Smith for pressure shared with Wagner
–(Q4, 1:55): Bulled by Smith for pressure
–(Q4, 1:37): Shed by Smith for pressure
–(Q4, 0:20): Bulled and shed by Smith for QH
He had 4 blocks in level 2, including a nice combination on Hood then Foster to help lead West’s 35-yard run.
Scoring: 68 plays, 57 blocks, 3 missed, 5.5 pressures, 1 QH, 1/3 sack, 41 points (.60 per play). With adjustment for quality of competition, that’s a D. It’s just 1 game, but he didn’t play any better versus the Redskins than Hurst did versus the Raiders. If Wagner is out for an extended period, I expect Alex will get more time at tackle (left or right). His upside is clearly higher than Hurst’s, but this wasn’t an ideal first step.
Urschel: John had a poor outing at guard in his first start of the season that included parts of 2 sacks. On the first, he was beaten outside by a swim move from Ziggy Hood (Q2, 9:12) on which he got 2/3 of the charge. He later was part of a sack I split 3 ways when he and Zuttah were giving ground, but in the process of a stunt handoff (Q3, 10:09). Garvin hit Urschel, causing him to trip over Juszczyk and Zuttah could not hold up Murphy as Flacco went down for a loss of 8. Urschel pulled twice and on each occasion, he failed to find a block that contributed to a loss of 1 yard. He made 2 blocks in level 2, both of which were highlight combination blocks.
Scoring: 68 plays, 60 blocks, 2 missed, 1 (2 X 1/2) penetration, 1.5 pressures, 1 (2/3 + 1/3) sack, 52 points (.72 per play). That’s a D after adjustment for opponent quality.
Zuttah: Jeremy played his best game of the season, which included a first half with no negative events. I charged him with 1/3 of the sack described above under Urschel (Q3, 10:09). He also allowed 2 partial pressures, but he avoided the variety of problems which had been causing an unacceptable level of missed blocks (he had only 3). He had 2 blocks in level 2, 2 pancakes, and had 2 highlight blocks. The best of those was a pancaking of Ioannidis on West’s 27-yard run (Q3, 0:14)
Scoring: 68 plays, 62 blocks, 3 missed, 1 (2 X ½) pressure, 1/3 sack, 58 points (.85 per play). Including adjustment for quality of competition, that’s a B at center.
Yanda: Whatever the Ravens ask Marshal Yanda to do, he has delivered for them. He was his all-pro self in the first half with just 1 pressure and no other misses. In the 2nd half, he replaced Rick Wagner at RT and had just 1 miss in 31 blocks. He had just 1 highlight and no blocks in level 2, but Ravens fans will take this performance every week.
Scoring: 68 plays, 66 blocks, 1 missed, 1 pressure, 64 points (.94 per play). He scored an A prior to adjustment at each position.
Wagner: Rick had a dreadful game that came to an early close with the half-ending sack allowed to Kerrigan. The fact the Ravens ran that play is worthy of a game management discussion of its own, but I’ll just say I think they had a far better chance to return the FG attempt with a man deep, be that Hester or Tavon Young. Here are Wagner’s first-half, racing form notes:
–(Q1, 6:27): Beaten outside by Baker for shared penetration on Dixon RM-1
–(Q2, 8:31): Bulled by Kerrigan for pressure shared with Lewis
–(Q2, 5:54): Bulled by Kerrigan for pressure
–(Q2, 0:58): Beaten outside by Murphy for QH
–(Q2, 0:01): Beaten inside by Kerigan for sack, injured
He pancaked Murphy on West’s run right (Q1, 3:32), but the play went for no gain.
Scoring: 37 plays, 30 blocks, 2 missed, ½ penetration, 1.5 pressures, 1 QH, 1 sack, 17 points (.46 per play). That’s still an F after adjustment.
Jensen: Ryan played well at RG in the second half when Yanda was moved to RT. He was beaten outside by Baker for a QH (Q4, 2:33). He was previously beaten outside by Baker for a shared pressure (Q4, 13:50). On that play, it appeared Jensen might have pushed Baker by the pocket, but Flacco was unable to step up as Hood bulled Zuttah. Ryan had 2 highlight blocks, which included a pancake of Compton in level 2 on West’s 27-yard run (Q3, 0:14).
Scoring: 31 plays, 29 blocks, 0 missed, 1/2 pressure, 1 QH, 25 points (.81 per play). B.
At this writing (10/12), the Ravens have not yet made a move to pick up a tackle. Street depth is rapidly thinning, particularly with this week’s signing of Jake Long by the Vikings. The Ravens did, however, sign interior lineman Vlad Ducasse, who spent the preseason with the team. That gives them a more normal total of 9 linemen, including 2 tackles out during the 2nd half last week. That tells me the Ravens either expect Stanley and/or Wagner will return this week, or they are comfortable with Yanda at RT for another week.
So what now for the offense?
Marty Mornhinweg inherits the OC role with a number of handicaps. The OL is in a state of flux and challenged both at tackle and on the inside. The best possession receiver may be out with an ankle injury.
His first job needs to be a rebuilding of the Ravens play-action passing game. That’s a complex task requiring:
– Joe to move back under center for a higher percentage of plays
– Continued effective run blocking to maintain the run as a credible threat
– The interior line to hold up effectively to the increased A-gap pressure other teams will use when Flacco is at the line of scrimmage
– Fakes that are good enough to freeze linebackers and fool edge rushers (I’m least concerned about this one)
– Timing to turn those opportunities into in-stride completions with potential for YAC
It’s a tall order indeed.