FILMSTUDY: Offensive line model and notes vs. Redskins 12/9/12

Joe Flacco, DeAngelo Hall, Jordan Pugh, Courtney Upshaw

The offensive line may have had its best collective game on Sunday.  They surrendered only 6 negative events, had 2 penalties, and missed a total of just 17 blocks.  No one had a score which converts to less than a C with consideration for position.  The running backs averaged 6.2 YPC, and Flacco had a QB rating of 121.4.  And yet, the game turned on pass rush events from the blind side which resulted in turnovers.

Going forward, the class of 2012 has lost its only A student and must struggle forward with a remedial group that not only has a shortage of current skill, but also an unclear future.  Only Osemele is likely to be a good player in 2013 and no one is sure of position.

The Ravens had 57 snaps (excluding Flacco’s kneel):

Oher:  He didn’t have his worst game of the season, but for the second straight game, Oher allowed a sack/FF (Q3, 12:59).  This time it was Rob Jackson beating him outside for an easy strip.  Could Flacco have stepped up?  Possibly, but he still would likely have been stripped.   He has now allowed a sack in each of the last 4 games.  Earlier (Q2, 9:30), Oher allowed a QH to Ryan Kerrigan, Washington’s best active pass rusher on a play which almost certainly would have gone for a TD with adequate protection.  Scoring: 50 blocks, 5 missed, 1 QH, 1 sack, 32 points (.72 per play).  C.  Oher remains miscast as a LT and lacks the physical tools to optimally handle pass rushers who are either big or fast.  In today’s NFL, that’s pretty much every DE or OLB.

Reid:  Jah has been the Ravens’ most consistent lineman over the last 4 weeks, scoring between .74 and .81 in each game (roughly a C- in that span).  He collected his 4th penalty in 5 games by way of a false start (Q1, 2:55).  Kerrigan bulled him to pressure Flacco on the Ravens last play from scrimmage (OT, 14:19).  Scoring:  51 blocks, 5 missed, 1 penetration, 1 false start, 46 points (.81 per play).  That grades out as a C with no extra credit for the Redskins mediocre interior DL

Birk:  Matt turned in one of his best games of the season.  His only negative scoring play came early (Q1, 7:46) when he allowed Cofield to penetrate and take down Pierce for a loss of 1.  He otherwise had several blocking highlights:

(Q1, 9:07):  He and Yanda sealed left on Rice’s 46-yard run to leave a huge gap with which Rice was able to go to work on the unfortunate Madieu Williams.

(Q2, 2:31):  The Redskins left a very loose shell to go with a 3-man pass rush on 3rd and 17.  Birk was one of 3 Ravens who made a good screen block (Reid, Yanda)

(Q3, 14:52):  He held NT Cofield in position as Rice ran up the middle for 9 yards.

(Q3, 9:14):  Yanda pulled and Birk turned right to kick out Worthington.  He didn’t have to move him much, but effectively held him off while Pierce ran behind for a 21-yard gain.

(Q4, 4:52):  On Rice’s TD run, Birk stood up Baker and Rice took his time before choosing to run past him on the left for the TD.

Unfortunately, on the game’s next-to-last play, the line zone blocked to the right and Birk blocked Worthington onto the legs of Yanda which appeared to cause the injury.  He stayed on his feet for most of the day and registered 4 blocks in level 2 plus 2 pancakes.  Scoring:  51 blocks, 1 missed, 1 penetration, 53 points (.93 per play).  A- with a small adjustment for some quality run blocks among those listed above.

Yanda:   The Ravens have regularly struggled without Marshal, but now find themselves without their offensive MVP for the stretch run.      Scoring:  56 plays (all but the last), 52 blocks, 32 missed, 1 pressure, 50 points (.89 per play).  B+.

Osemele:  What do Ravens fans have to hope for in the final weeks in terms of offensive line development?  While circumstances may allow for a start from Gradkowski or Harewood in the finale, I’m most interested to see the play of KO in these last 3 regular season games and beyond.  He was slow out of his stance and allowed penetration by Jenkins, who took down Rice for a loss of 2 (Q3, 6:24) and he was flagged for a false start, but he made all 23 pass blocks.  He had the key block to the right on Rice’s 46-yard run with a cut block that took down Jenkins and impeded Kerrigan.  Scoring:  57 plays, 53 blocks, 3 missed, 1 penetration, 1 false start, 48 points (.84 per play).  B.

Williams:  He was inserted for the Ravens last offensive snap in overtime and made his block.

Other Notes:


  • A drop back resulting in a pass or sack is recorded as Ample Time and Space (ATS) if the QB has 3 full seconds untouched in the pocket with no defender within a step (allows the QB to step into the throw) in a 120 degree arc centered on the target.  Despite a clean pocket, ATS is not scored if a pass is batted at the line of scrimmage.  ATS is also scored when the QB is able to leave the pocked untouched, reset his feet, and step into his throw (this is typically the case with bootlegs the Ravens run).  If the pass is out before 3 seconds (many screen passes and 3-step drops), I have to project forward to judge whether or not ATS would have held up with a bias to no ATS.  All throws are categorized as either ATS or not ATS; there is no intermediate category.
  • Not all ATS opportunities are created equal.  A 3-man rush will frequently result in ATS, but the passing opportunity is not as good.  A 6-man blitz will occasionally be stopped up by 5 blockers which will provide an excellent opportunity for either a long pass or YAC if not both.
  • With ATS, Flacco was 11/12 for 129 yards, 3 TD/0 INT (10.8 YPP).
  • Without ATS, he was 5/9 for 53 yards (36 net) with 0 TD, 1 INT, and 2 sacks for 17 yards (3.3 YPP).
  • Last week I wrote a little about expectations with ATS.  It would be ideal to have uniformly-scored ATS data for all NFL QBs.  Sadly, I don’t have that data, so I’m left trying to make sense of how Flacco has made use of his opportunities.  One way to do so is to compare his net yardage by game to expectations based on his own performance either this season (these differences will sum to 0) or for the last 3 years for which I have data.  In neither case would we be getting a measure relative to league success.  I’m not a fan of statistics that are a moving target or those that compare something to itself; however, while less useful as a measure of individual performance, such statistics may give us other insights.
  • By game, Flacco’s differences from expected yards:
  • Thus far in 2012, the Ravens have gained 5.5 yards more per play with ATS than without.
  • This use of ATS isn’t considering touchdowns or interceptions, but one certainly could.
  • Quarterback rating misses the mark for ATS analysis since the standards are set for averages, not the extreme subsets of throws being defined here.
  • Differences from expectation aren’t all a function of the QB.  Please read last week’s piece to get an idea of what else might be contributing to that:


  • The definition of ATS may or may not agree with other “not under pressure” statistics.

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