FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Issues Abound in Loss to Bills


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 design, but not as a result of being flushed.  ATS is also scored if the QB move slightly in the pocket to avoid pressure (most frequently by stepping up), but not if the 120-degree arc is breached within 1 step.  If the pass is thrown in less than 3 seconds, I try to determine if the pocket would have held up for that full time, but err on the side of “not ATS”.  Most screen passes, for example, are out in less than 3 seconds and are not ATS.

I know it sounds subjective, but if we both scored a game with those rules, we’d agree on 95% of pass plays.

Scoring results for Flacco’s last 3 seasons (2010-12, playoffs included):

Versus the Bills on Sunday:

Anyone who watched Sunday’s game knows the 5 INTs were the reason the Ravens lost, but what’s more stark to me is the fact that 4 came with ATS.  By contrast Joe has had exactly 5 ATS interceptions in each of the last 3 seasons or 1 every 65 such plays.  During that time he never had a game with more than 1 ATS interception.

The 4 interceptions with ATS were 8, 8, 0, and 12 yards downfield.

The game is such an outlier that I have to believe it can be fixed mechanically.

The scoring is based on 63 offensive snaps for the Ravens, all of which were competitive.

McKinnie:  Bryant improved significantly from his game against the Texans.  I can offer 2 explanations.  First, he’s a low-effort run blocker and when the Ravens run the ball just 9 times, they are playing to his strength.  Second, he avoided any penalties after a 2-facemask game which cost him 18 points (.32 per play) last week.  In addition to parts of 3 pressures, I charged him with 2/3 of Williams’ QH (Q4, 1:11) when he blew the stunt pickup.  Scoring:  55 blocks, 3 missed, 2.5 pressures, 1.17 (1/2 + 2/3) QHs, 46.5 points (.74 per play).  I make that a C+ with a slight upgrade for the opposing talent.

Osemele:  Scoring:  58 blocks, 1 missed, 1 pressure, 1.33 QHs, 1 facemask, 43 points (.68 per play).  That would be a high F without adjustment, but he gets upgraded to a D for facing Dareus while having Gradkowski to his right.

Gradkowski:  Gino had as bad a day as I can recall scoring for a Ravens center.  He was party to 9 negative pass-rushing events and opposing defensive coordinators are going to be slavering at the thought of stunts, delays, and cross blitzes you can throw at this guy.  Scoring:  52 blocks, 2 missed, 4.5 (3 full plus 3 half) pressures, 2 QHs, 1 sack, 31 points (.49 per play).  Passing for a center is .77, so adjusting him for the quality of competition would be like giving Bart Simpson an extra 3 points on a calculus test.  F.  He’s now had 3 F’s and a C in 4 games this season.

Yanda:  Marshal had his 2nd consecutive bad game.  I have seen it suggested that Yanda could be moved to center.  After we saw him play so well at RT, I don’t think that would fail, but he shouldn’t move just to make the line calls.  In fact, he can do that right now if he isn’t.  Scoring:  57 blocks, 3 missed, 2.5 pressures, 1 false start, 1 holding, 43 points (.68 per play).  Same score as last week when I gave him a big bump for facing Watt, but this week he can only be adjusted to a D.

Oher:  Michael had a solid game.  He was incorrectly charged with Yanda’s holding call (Q2, 8:34) in the Gamebook.  Otherwise, he was party to a typical number of pass blocking mistakes for 54 drop backs.  Scoring:  58 blocks, 2 missed, 1 pressures, .5 QH, 1 sack, 48.5 points (.77 per play).  B.

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About Ken McKusick

Ken McKusick
Ken comes to us via area message boards where he has consistently posted some of the most insightful and memorable posts that you'll find anywhere.  Known as "Filmstudy", Ken is a lifelong Baltimorean and rabid fan of Baltimore sports who grew up about 1 mile from Memorial Stadium.  He attended...more

7 Raves on “FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Issues Abound in Loss to Bills

  1. jurgenhadley on said:

    Good stuff Ken, I was REALLY hoping Gradkowski would improve…what are our options, in your mind? Switch to Shipley? He looked just as rough in preseason. Wait for Jensen to come back and make him the starter? Can we trust a guy who’s been out for 2 months now, AND is a rookie?!

    I hate to say it, but from my chair here…seems like we’ve got to ride Gradkowski until there’s no season left to play. Agree or disagree?

    • Filmstudy on said:

      Based on the cap situation, I think they won’t pick up another center.

      I’d say there is a 40% chance Shipley starts at some point this season and a 20% chance Jensen does. Only 40% they stick with Gradkowski for the rest of the season.

      In fact, if he performs anywhere like he did at Buffalo, I can’t see how Gino would start against the Packers.

  2. greyredstar on said:

    Barring some “out of the blue” deal from Ozzie I have to agree. Monroe though welcome is a cap killer for us so I doubt any deal is possible. So, its Gino or A.Q….Ugh! Time for Castillo to be the O-line Whisperer.

  3. Ellicottraven on said:

    Is luring Birk out of retirement simply absurd? Will he come if asked and if he does come how long before he gets into game shape? I know this is a potential fantasy on my part, but seeing how bad Gino is and also how pivotal the Center’s job is for our offense, I couldn’t help it…

  4. paulie on said:

    Kind of has a flow to it, now doesn’t it? Center to left: F, D, C+. Center to right: F, D, B. The cost of having a weak center – declining guard play.

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