Patricia, Patricia, Patricia
Rex Ryan had nothing on Matt Patricia.
Ryan had a penchant for multiple paths to pass-rush deception in the defense Bart Scott labeled “Organized Chaos.”
Since the 2006 and 2008 defenses, many fans have lamented the lack of wrinkles in the Ravens pass rush, but they were treated to quite a display on Monday night…by the wrong team.
Let’s review the metrics and return to this point.
The offensive line produced ample time and space (ATS) on 27 of 54 drop backs (50%) and allowed just 2 sacks which were the only 2 times Flacco was knocked down.
By Ample Time and Space (ATS) categorization:
Summarizing results relative to expectation:
Summarizing the Pats’ pass rush by numbers and ATS:
–The 50% ATS raised Flacco’s season ATS to 46% and was consistent with his 6-year average of 51%.
–Flacco’s troubles with ATS are in part a function of the complexity of coverages and the reduced number of big YAC plays from previous weeks. Breshad Perriman made a nice catch down the left sideline and Kyle Juszczyk ripped off a 40-yard catch and run, but that’s not much for 54 pass attempts.
–As an aside, Juszczyk’s 40-yard reception is a new record for a Ravens fullback surpassing his 39 and 34-yard catches in 2015. In the team’s first 19 seasons, Ovie Mughelli’s 30-yard TD at Tennessee in 2006 was the longest catch by a FB.
–Among the 27 snaps that were not ATS, there were 15 (!) where the ball was out quickly (BOQ), so no lineman was charged with anything worse than a miss. As you’ll see in the notes for individual lineman, many of these were cases where a player was beaten, but the early delivery negated a charge.
–What caused Flacco to check down so early and so often? The credit belongs primarily to Patriots DC Matt Patricia, who regularly brought 4-man pressure from every imaginable angle. The Patriots dropped 2 men from the LoS on 28 of 54 pass plays and there were only 4 occasions where the Patriots showed 4 at the LoS and those players came on a standard 4-man rush. I didn’t count the number of deceptive blitzes, but 15 would be close. That’s many more than the Ravens have had in any game this season. Many of the impairments to ATS came from pressure from a blitz by the slot CB. In such cases, the only choice is typically a hot read, and those throws have reduced opportunity with 7 in coverage.
–In addition to coverage drops, Patricia added deception via twist and stunt.
–As a point of comparison, the Ravens, who show the double-A gap blitz often, dropped 2 men from the LoS 9 times and had 4 deceptive blitzes.
–The actual pass numbers were hurt by drops, most notably that by Wallace (Q3, 7:14).
Offensive Line Scoring
The Ravens ran 68 meaningful offensive plays (excludes penalties).
Stanley: Ronnie continued his trend of improvement since his return with his best game of the season. He surrendered 2 full pressures, both on bulls by Long (Q4, 10:38 and Q4, 2:38). I also charged him with 1/6 of the sack that ended the Ravens first drive (see Zuttah below, Q1, 12:24). He was only beaten on 1 of his 3 misses (another bull by Long). His highlight was an effective scrum push that provided the impetus for Dixon’s 4-yard gain to convert 2nd and 3 (Q4, 9:15).
Scoring: 68 plays, 62 blocks, 3 missed, 2 pressures, 1/6 sack, 57 points (.84 per play). With adjustment, that’s an A. Since returning, his grades by game are F, C, C, C, B, A. Harbaugh’s narrative about relearning the position fits the empirical evidence.
Yanda: Marshal continues to play though his shoulder injury with outstanding results. He allowed 2 partial pressures and also got a 1/6 share of the sack (Q1, 12:24) that was split among 4 players. This was a game where he benefited from Flacco unloading early. All 4 of his misses were cases where he was beaten, but the ball was out quickly (BOQ). He made 1 block in level 2. That was his highlight, a combination on Branch then Hightower. For the season, Yanda has now played 646 meaningful snaps and allowed just 8.5 pressures, 5/6 (1/2 + 1/3) of a QH and 1 sack (parts of 3 totaling 1). He has not been penalized since he started the year with flags in each of his first 3 games.
Scoring: 68 plays, 61 blocks, 3 missed, 1 (2 X ½) pressure, 1/6 sack, 58 points (.85 per play). That’s an A- with adjustment.
Zuttah: Jeremy consistently had difficulty with Patricia’s complex blitz schemes and was repeatedly bulled by the interior linemen. Here is the full list of charges in racing form for your review:
–(Q1, 12:24): Beaten left by Flowers for half of sack split 4 ways
–(Q1, 6:42): Bulled by Brown on pressure shared with Ducasse
–(Q2, 0:20): Bulled by Branch for pressure
–(Q3, 13:31): Unable to block stunting Ninkovich with Yanda for pressure
–(Q3, 1:53): Bulled by Van Noy for pressure
–(Q4, 7:24): Failed to pick up stunting Ninkovich as part of sack split with Wagner and Ducasse
–(Q4, 5:30): Unable to pick up pressure from stunting Sheard
In addition, his 4 misses were all occasions where he was beaten on pass plays labeled BOQ. He had 2 highlights. The better result came when he maintained a 5+yard block on Hightower as Dixon ran for 9 yards (Q3, 8:45).
Scoring: 62 plays, 51 blocks, 4 missed, 3.5 (2 + 3*1/2) pressures, 5/6 (1/2 + 1/3) sack, 39 points (.63 per play). I reduced his adjustment for the premature snap which caused the odd illegal motion penalty on Flacco, but he was .11 short of a passing grade, F.
Ducasse: Vlad also had trouble with twists and blitzes. He was bulled by Brown for a full pressure (Q1, 0:35), but he also was charged with a portion of both sacks and another partial pressure. Of 5 misses, 3 were occasions he was beaten on a BOQ play, 1 came on a failure to assist on a pressure, and the last came on a missed pull. He received the full charge for the safety (Q1, 10:53) when he missed Brown, missed Roberts, then fell for good measure. He had 2 blocks in level 2, including a highlight combination on Valentine then Hightower in level 2 (Q2, 13:43).
Scoring: 68 plays, 58 blocks, 5 missed, 1 penetration, 1.5 pressures, ½ (1/6 + 1/3) sack, 50 points (.73 per play). That’s a D. I did not make an adjustment to Ducasse’s score, because I don’t think the cost of his failed blocks which keyed the safety is fully reflected.
Wagner: Rick was effective despite a pair of penalties. He allowed a pressure when beaten inside by Sheard (Q2, 2:52). What was essentially a second pressure (Q4, 7:24) came when bulled by Flowers, but Zuttah and Ducasse were unable to negotiate stunting traffic that became a sack split 3 ways. Rick had just 2 misses, but in each case he was beaten Sheard on a BOQ play. He was slow to release Valentine on the hold, but that looked like a penalty which is not frequently called. That hold was immediately followed by the 47-yard completion to Perriman (Q4, 10:38). However, his false start was more costly as it occurred on 2nd and 1 and the drive stalled. He did not have any highlights, pulls, pancakes, or blocks in level 2.
Scoring: 68 plays, 64 blocks, 2 missed, 1 pressure, 1/3 sack, 1 offensive holding, 1 false start, 51 points (.75 per play). That’s a B- after adjustment.
Urschel: John replaced Zuttah at C for a series and made all 6 blocks.
If you’re interested in seeing scoring trends for the players this season, these charts will be updated weekly.