Filmstudy

FILMSTUDY: Turkey Nearly Ruins Thanksgiving

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Defensive Notes v. Steelers ~ 11/28/13   Just when you think this rivalry can’t get any weirder, it does. Tomlin’s slowing/redirection of Jacoby Jones’ kickoff return brought memories of Tommy Lewis’ off-the-bench tackle in the 1954 Cotton Bowl (see YouTube). It was both a breach of sportsmanship and an officiating blunder. I expect Tomlin will draw a substantial fine from the NFL and the officiating crew will be downgraded for the play. The officials are entitled to award a score or place the ball as they see fit in such...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Jets 11/24/13

New York Jets vs Baltimore Ravens
The legendary 2000 Ravens defense gave up a league-record low 8.35 defensive points per game (167 defensive points allowed in 20 games) by a playoff team.  They’ll be etched forever in the minds and hearts of Baltimore fans as the greatest defense of all time. The 2013 Ravens offense has struggled. What do these two have in common?  As of now, both have an average of 4.5 yards per offensive snap.  Since the 2000 average is unlikely to change, it is up to the 2013 offense to improve to avoid...

FILMSTUDY: Thanksgiving Breakfast – Defensive Notes vs. Jets

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Ever wake up on Thanksgiving and tell yourself to eat light because you have a big meal coming? The Ravens played a low-snap defensive effort versus the Jets with a showdown with the Steelers looming Thursday. Playing at home on Thanksgiving has been described as the pot-sweetener for the Ravens not receiving the NFL opener at home.  It’s more than fair compensation and if the Ravens fail to win Thursday, it won’t be because they entered the game tired or banged up. The Steelers come off a similarly one-sided road...

FILMSTUDY: O-Line Notes v. Bengals and Bears

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Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Bengals and Bears   The scoring of the offensive line is based on 71 offensive snaps versus the Bengals and 75 versus the Bears. Monroe: Eugene has struggled the last 2 weeks against a pair of good pass rushers. Against the Bengals he allowed a sack to Vincent Rey (Q, T). Monroe failed to pick up Rey who came delayed and instead assisted Shipley inside on James Harrison. Against the Bears he surrendered sacks to Julius Peppers (Q2, 14:07) and Ozougwu (Q3, 7:45). Both...

FILMSTUDY: Daryl Smith Continues Unsatisfying “Strip Club” Visits

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Daryl Smith has been the one Raven on defense who has made consistent takeaway contributions. On Sunday, the game against the Bears was lost on two challenged strips involving Smith, neither of which was ruled in the Ravens’ favor. (Q1, 9:20)  Lardarius Webb dislodged the football from Jeffery, who was initially ruled down after a 7-yard completion between the numbers and left hash.  Daryl Smith picked up the loose football.  After review, Steratore ruled the pass incomplete; Jeffery took a full step and was in the process of going to...

FILMSTUDY: In Search of Defensive Playmakers

daltywebb
In a game where the offense again struggled mightily, the defense leveraged an early lead into an extraordinary playmaking effort. Discussion about this defense over the last several weeks has centered on their inability to make big plays.  The lead for all of the 2nd half provided a lens for just how effective this unit would be if the offense can provide some points. In particular, Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Elvis Dumervil, Daryl Smith, and James Ihedigbo all turned in numerous big plays. The big defensive story for the Ravens...

FILMSTUDY: Spiderman Returns

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Everyone likes a sequel. And the return of Lardarius Webb to the slot on Sunday proved a blockbuster. In 2011 and 2012, Webb was used as an outside corner in the standard (4 DB) packages and matched up with the slot receiver in the nickel. Lardarius had spent the season as an outside corner exclusively prior to Sunday, presumably in deference to his 2012 ACL tear. It is quite rare that an outside corner will ever be used to rush the passer.  However, with his return to coverage of the slot...

FILMSTUDY: Pass Protection Not to Blame for Struggles in Cleveland

USP NFL: BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS S FBN USA OH
The scoring of the offensive line is based on 67 offensive snaps for the Ravens, all of which were competitive. Let’s start with a note on the phantom holding call.  The Ravens were flagged for holding (Q2, 7:20) that left them 2nd and 20 and led to the drive stalling 2 plays later.  Referee Scott Green announced the flag on number 64.  No Raven wears number 64 currently, but the announcers surmised Oher must have been guilty while the Gamebook charged the hold to Gradkowski.  I don’t believe either is...

FILMSTUDY: Ravens YAC Up Loss to Browns

Browns YAC
Defensive Notes vs. Browns 11/3/13 The Ravens lost this game on a handful of big Yards After the Catch (YAC) plays that led to scores or changed field position. Let’s review: (Q1, 11:25) Campbell threw a 9-yard pass to Little between Webb and Daryl Smith. Both Ravens went for the ball, but Little came away with it and weaved through traffic for 23 YAC past tackle attempts from Ihedigbo and Elam. (Q2, 11:22) Little caught a short crossing route 2 yards from the LOS and turned up the left sideline...

FILMSTUDY: OL Improves vs. Pittsburgh, but Gino’s Struggles Continue

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers
I wanted to provide a brief evaluation of the linemen only this week. The scoring is based on 61 offensive snaps for the Ravens, all of which were competitive. Monroe:  Eugene had his first excellent game as a Raven.  He did not make a single error resulting in a negative score and missed just 4 blocks.   He pulled successfully once, administered 2 pancakes, and made 2 blocks in level 2.  Scoring:  57 blocks, 4 missed, 57 points (.93 per play).  A.  The last LT to play as well for the...

FILMSTUDY: Defense Run Over by Steelers’ Ground Attack

bellgoesin
This year, it’s the Ravens losing a mess of close games, but this one had its own reasons for being hard to take. The Ravens surrendered 13 rushing plays of 6+ yards, something that should not happen to a team with a good run defense. Here is a brief breakdown (no pun intended) of those 13 plays:   (Q1, 14:04, 1/15)  The Steelers lined up with 4 wide receivers in the shotgun and zone blocked right.  Gilbert blocked Upshaw, DeCastro and Velasco moved Jones, and Arthur Brown was caught in...

FILMSTUDY: Ravens O-Line Missing Their Secret Weapon?

Flacco under pressure v Packers
Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Packers Let me start by saying I agree emphatically with John Harbaugh’s decision to go for the TD on 4th and goal from the 1. I am frankly amazed that McCarthy declined the holding call on Wagner (Q2, 5:37) to allow the opportunity. In what I’ll call “the early Harbaugh years” the Ravens had consistent success on such plays centered on straight-ahead blocking with the insertion of the forgotten man, Haloti Ngata. I accumulated data for the 30 snaps Ngata played between 10/26/08 and...

FILMSTUDY: Defensive Notes v. Packers

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Losing At Home is Never Good But… Like most close NFL games, this was a woulda/coulda/shoulda game that could have been decided by any number of close plays or decisions. A loss at home is never good, but if it’s going to happen, these circumstances can mitigate the impact: • Lose to a good team • Lose to an NFC opponent • Avoid injuries in the process • Play competitively such that the game doesn’t have negative predictive ramifications The Ravens appear to have met the first 3 conditions. We’ll...

FILMSTUDY: Joe Flacco Under Pressure

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Success with Limited Time and Space Last week, Joe Flacco suffered through one of the worst games of his career with 5 interceptions, 4 of which came without pressure from the pass rush. This week, Flacco turned the tables on the Dolphins, delivering a big game despite constant pressure.  He had ample time and space (ATS) on just 11 of 34 drop backs (32%). Here is a look at his numbers both with and without ATS versus the Dolphins: (1) YPP ~ Yards Per Pass (includes sacks) Those numbers become much...

FILMSTUDY: Eugene Monroe’s 2013 Body of Work

NFL 2013: Chiefs vs Jaguars SEP 08
Eugene Monroe should start his first game for the Ravens against the Packers this weekend. I went back to score his first 4 games with the Jaguars. While he played reasonably well in 3 of the 4 games, he cratered in week 2 against the Raiders. Here is a week-by-week analysis followed by a chart that provides a snapshot of Monroe’s body of work to-date in 2013. KC (week 1): Eugene’s primary assignment was Tamba Hali. Hali is a quick, long pass rusher who should give a short-armed player like Monroe...

FILMSTUDY: O-Line Struggles Continue in Miami

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Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Dolphins 10/6/13 Joe Flacco’s performance deserves a piece of its own this week, so I’ll forgo the normal Ample-Time-and-Space statistics other than to say Joe had ATS on just 11 of 34 drop backs. That should get you prepared for some of the OL grades and whet your appetite for additional review and scoring of Eugene Monroe’s play with the Jaguars (CLICK HERE). In addition to Flacco and Torrey Smith, the Ravens’ other big offensive weapon, Justin Tucker, hit 4 field goals and put...

FILMSTUDY: Keeping it Fresh in Miami

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The Ravens first road win can be attributed to pass-rushing depth, an offensive snap advantage (73 to 56), and an active rotation that kept them fresh for a decisive 2nd half in the Miami heat. Terrell Suggs is playing as if demoted from a higher league right now. After a surreal 17-tackle performance against the Bills, he continued his fine play against the run while accumulating three 4th-quarter sacks: • (Q4, 11:36) Suggs beat Martin outside and had a little extra time to return from behind the QB for a 5-yard...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Issues Abound in Loss to Bills

joedownbills
Note: I wrote this piece before the news of Monroe’s acquisition came through. For my thoughts on Eugene Monroe, click here.  I frequently get asked, “What is ATS?” ATS stands for Ample Time and Space.  I define that as a pass play where the QB has at least 3 full seconds to pass beginning with the snap and has room to step into the throw in a 120 degree arc centered on the targeted receiver. A QB may have ATS on a play where he moves from the pocket by...

FILMSTUDY: Welcome to Baltimore Eugene Monroe

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I wanted to give you my first impressions from watching the coach’s film of his first 4 games this season. Monroe is not Superman, but he’s a sharp contrast from Bryant McKinnie. Starting with the basics, he knows his responsibility on every play. He doesn’t end up with a befuddled look and he frequently is seen communicating with the G or TE on his side. His biggest physical asset is quickness, which he uses to gain consistent positional advantage. It would be difficult to overstate the importance of quick feet...

FILMSTUDY: Osemele Passes While All Others Fail v. Texans

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Offensive Line Notes vs. Texans 9/22/13 The Ravens offense did a few things well Sunday despite rumors of its demise. For the second consecutive week, the team converted exactly 8 of 16 3rd downs. In addition, one of the failures was subsequently converted by Joseph’s silly taunting foul. What’s more, they relied far less on pick routes to do so. However, we discussed the Ravens’ conversion success last week and I want to talk about Tandon Doss’ 82-yard, punt-return TD (Q2, 1:05) which broke open the game. The Ravens lined...