Filmstudy

FILMSTUDY: Bullies Empowered

New York Giants v Baltimore Ravens
Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Giants 12/23/12 The bullies never come off well in the movies. Biff Tannen (Back to the Future), Johnny Lawrence (The Karate Kid), Scut Farkas (A Christmas Story)…you’re not tempted to root for them. On Sunday, Ravens fans cheered for a bullying of epic proportions as Flacco picked on the Giants’ weakest defensive link and their rookie tackle administered a beating to whoever was assigned to stand in front of him. Corey Webster was victimized by Joe Flacco.  Joe loves the back shoulder and trusts...

FILMSTUDY: Defensive notes vs. Giants 12/23/12

ellerbeeli
During the Denver broadcast, Gumbel quoted Harbaugh as saying the Ravens needed “more yards, more first downs, and more snaps.” The Ravens were outsnapped for the 9th time in 10 games versus Denver.  However, they reversed that trend against the Giants, outsnapping New York by a whopping 81-45 margin en route to a 33-14 win. The Ravens would knock down Eli Manning 9 times including 3 sacks in 31 drop backs, and allowed just 3.8 YPP.  Manning had been sacked an NFL-low 16 times entering the game. The Ravens are now...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Broncos

Flacco sacked v Broncos
The Ravens played one of the most talented pass rushes they will face this year without their best lineman, and predictably had their worst game of the season as a unit. Flacco had ATS on just 16 of 43 drop backs (37%) despite the fact that the Broncos brought 5 or more pass rushers on just 6 snaps.  After halftime, the Broncos rushed 5 only twice.  It’s all but impossible to move the ball effectively when the defense can get consistent pressure with 4 men. Caldwell must find a way...

FILMSTUDY: No rest for the weary

Defensive Notes vs. Redskins 12/9/12 As is frequently the case in a close game, the Ravens had a number of 4th-quarter plays which would have greatly increased their chance to win the game if not sealed it. Let’s review: (Q4, 4:47): Upshaw forced the fumble on the kickoff with the Ravens up 28-20. Reed was ruled to recover and the play was reversed on some of the flimsiest evidence I have ever seen. If that could be overturned, then the Ravens should have been granted a reversal on the Patriots...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive line model and notes vs. Steelers 12/2/12

Did the Ravens throw the ball deep too often on Sunday? To answer that we’d need to understand both the circumstances and results. Realizing, of course, that the outcome alone does not justify the gamble, let’s start by reviewing all the balls Flacco threw 20+ yards downfield: 1. (Q1, 14:22) In the face of Polomalu’s blitz, Flacco threw deep between the numbers and left hash for Torrey Smith. Smith turned and came close to hauling in the on-target throw, but Taylor stripped the ball. The Steelers’ CB limped off the...

Filmstudy: Defensive Notes vs. Steelers 12/2/12

A normal day includes a fair number of expletives. This was much worse. The Ravens managed to cough up a game they appeared to control thoroughly in the last 10 minutes. The Steelers had given them the game several times over with Sanders’ fumble and Batch’s overthrow of Wallace, but it still seemed unlikely Pittsburgh would muster the touchdown necessary to win the game. But the signs were there previously. The Ravens allowed too many big opportunities in the passing game. Let’s review: (Q1, 3:37) Brown had a step on...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive line model and notes vs. Chargers 11/25/12

Anquan Boldin has carried the Ravens’ receiving corps at times this season, but heading into his final year under contract, he has some weaknesses which aren’t going away, and others that are being exacerbated by his reduced speed. He was targeted 8 times with 2 catches, but might have caught any of three balls that went incomplete. - He was slowed following the flight of the ball over his head and couldn’t quite catch up to a deep ball down the right sideline when he had Jammer beat (Q1, 9:56)....

FILMSTUDY: Defensive shell game continues…notes vs. Chargers 11/25/12

If Dan Fouts, instead of Ian Eagle, had handled the play-by-play call on 4th and 29: Trips left, Smith alone on the far side of the field. All but five of the good…er, Chargers lined up at least 15 yards downfield…Four man pass rush…Flacco has all…freaking…day. He dumps it off to Rice on the right side. Rice turns upfield to the 50…are you kidding me, 3 stiffarms? He’s at the 40 and Boldin lays out Weddle from behind. Where’s the flag? Rice dives for the first down marker and he’s...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Steelers

Why does it seem like the Ravens and Steelers games are always close? Some people will tell you it’s a matter of familiarity, others that the rivalry or the fans bring it out of the players. I think Sunday’s game was close for a much different reason. The Ravens, facing Byron Leftwich and noticing the condition of the Steelers’ QB, decided this game would be fully in the hands of the defense. It was Ravens football, 2008 style. With a 10-7 lead from midway through the 1st quarter, Flacco threw...

FILMSTUDY: Winning Krugly…Defensive Notes vs. Steelers

November 18, 2012 The Ravens won an ugly game Sunday. How ugly? I went through all 204 games the Ravens played since 2000 to make this list, and was only able to come up with 14 nominations that combined winning, versus a bad (or injured) team, by a close margin, with notable help from the opponent. Here is my list of the 5 ugliest Ravens’ wins in that period: 1. Ravens 9, Chiefs 6 10/7/12: The Ravens allowed 214 yards rushing to the Chiefs on 50 carries, but the Chiefs...

FILMSTUDY: Defensive notes vs. Raiders 11/11/12

The 2007 Ravens were the last Baltimore team with as many players asked to do more than they can do well defensively: –The 2007 team scraped the absolute bottom of the CB barrel trying Ivy, Martin, Pittman, finally resorting to street pickup Willie Gaston–all on the outside. –For the first 6 games of the season the 2007 team got very little pass rush from their down linemen (they were 0 for 44 on their initial 4-man rushes) and resorted to dime pressure from Jerome Sapp and Corey Ivy. –The team...

FILMSTUDY: Managing the Vacation Schedule ~ OL Notes v. Raiders

Particularly considering the short rest and potential injury list for the Steelers, the ability to treat Sunday’s game like an exhibition could prove valuable down the stretch. Let’s review: * Pernell McPhee was inactive for a 2nd consecutive week. * Haloti Ngata and Jimmy Smith both dressed, but took PTO days to ride the exercise bike. * Bobby Williams was relieved on what we can only hope is not disability retirement after 14 snaps. * Rice had his last carry on the Ravens first offensive snap of the 2nd half...

Vonta Leach flattens the Browns 11/4/12

When the Ravens acquired Vonta Leach prior to the 2011 season, I wrote a piece analyzing the final game of the 2010 season when he led for Arian Foster who secured the AFC rushing title with a big game versus Jacksonville. You can find that article here: http://russellstreetreport.com/filmstudy-a-day-in-the-life-of-vonta-leach/ This piece along with most that I write, is ideally read with access to NFL Rewind. That indexes the plays and allows you to skip quickly to any given (Quarter, Time) reference. By doing so, it’s possible to follow along with the...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive line model and Notes vs. Browns 11/4/12

One comment I see regularly is that the Ravens give up on Rice and the run game too quickly. Sunday’s game provided clear evidence that the success the Ravens have running comes in 2-back sets with Vonta Leach in the I or offset-I formation. Leach had an outstanding game as a run blocker, for which I’d like to provide play-by-play detail in another piece. On 6 occasions that I counted the Browns linebackers and secondary actively chose to avoid contact with Leach by going down. Most of his blocks moved...

FILMSTUDY: Defensive Notes vs. Browns 11/4/12

Brandon Weeden throws v Ravens
I read an excellent piece on the early days of football which described a game in which Jim Thorpe had a huge punt that essentially won a football game in an era where the basic strategy in football was “Wait for your opponent to screw up.” The same can be said about the Ravens series history with the Cleveland Browns. On Sunday, the Ravens rolled up an early 14-0 lead, but then played bend-but-don’t-break defense the rest of the day to hold Cleveland to 15 points despite a horrific offensive...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Model and Team Notes vs. Texans

Birk bloody nose
In an interview with Adam Schein, Bryant McKinnie tossed gasoline on the Ravens’ OL debate that should continue to rage during the bye week.  John Harbaugh then added comments regarding rotation on the offensive line. Rotation by series is an interesting idea if it leads to some experimentation by position to find a good combination.  I don’t believe it is as likely to raise the level of individual performance unless the Ravens are going to change the focus of their offense to be much more run-centric. You don’t have to...

FILMSTUDY: Suggs brings back sizzle but it’s hardly enough

Suggs warmup v Texans
Defensive Notes vs. Texans 10/21/12 Much is not right, but we’ll leave that for the coaches and the bye week. There is also plenty of blame to be dealt, but I’m going to focus on the Ravens’ lone (and very significant) positive. The broadcast of Sunday’s game would have upset me if I were a Texans’ fan. Dan Dierdorf maintained four quarters’ worth of shock on the return of Suggs peppered in with some praise of the courage of Osemele (after the crew missed him re-entering on the Ravens TD...

Ranking the Ravens’ 2nd round draft picks

Jamie Sharper SBXXXV
The release of Sergio Kindle closes the book on an unsuccessful draft pick. Whether or not he can be resigned to the practice squad, the Ravens have exposed him to the remainder of the league, so any residual play value he may have can’t really be ascribed to the fact the Ravens drafted him. I thought it would be fun to go back through the Ravens draft history and rank the 2nd-round selections.  In each case, I’ve given the year drafted and overall number of the selection along with some...

FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Model and Notes vs. Chiefs and Cowboys

Rice v Cowboys
The week’s biggest move was Williams’ insertion at LG for Harewood. While I think it’s possible Harewood will provide depth at some point this season, he dropped from starter to inactive versus the Cowboys. The scores below include the game against the Chiefs (53 snaps excluding 2 kneels) and Cowboys (48 snaps, excluding 1 kneel): Oher:  Michael had 2 games which left his season score nearly unaffected.  Versus the Chiefs, he surrendered half a sack (Q1, 6:14) and a pressure to Tamba Hali.  He didn’t fare much better against Justin...

FILMSTUDY: Defensive Notes vs. Chiefs 10/7/12

Ray Lewis v Chiefs
The defensive analysis of this game is fairly simple given the Chiefs’ straight-forward game plan.  In the first half, the Ravens surrendered 179 yards rushing and despite a 3-3 tie, the Chiefs would continue with a similar plan in the second half. I think it would be a mistake to call the Chiefs’ running attack conservative.  Given the wide disparity of results (lots of big negative plays with 17 plays of 6+ yards) it is more similar to a passing game, but without much of the big-play upside available through...