TALE OF THE TAPE: Lardarius Webb Takes Flight as Blitzer

Baltimore Ravens Lardarius Webb dives into the endzone after returning a punt 68 yards for a touchdown during the first quarter of the Ravens NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland
REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

One of the key factors that played into Baltimore’s 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday was the willingness to switch things up on both sides of the ball.

On offense, some trickery was implemented, and on defense, a more consistent, aggressive and disguised pass rush was used.

At the forefront of the pass rush was cornerback Lardarius Webb, whose added contribution off the edge proved to be the finishing touch on an already successful front seven.

Until Sunday, Webb had rarely been used as a blitzer, but when he was finally inserted into that role, the results were extraordinary.

After an up-and-down season, Sunday may have been the turning point for Webb, who not only had success as a rusher, but in coverage.

Let’s take a look at how Webb’s presence was felt in the backfield.

Webb starts this first-quarter play lined up in the slot.

Just before the snap, he creeps up to the line, fully committed on the blitz. At this point – down a man in coverage – he must at least force pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton to make this play successful.

Webb does just that, finding an open gap on the left side of Terrell Suggs. With Webb’s closing speed, he is able to get to Dalton in time to force an errant throw, leading to an incompletion.

On that play, Webb was the lone extra pass rusher. But later in the game, the Ravens began to send multiple rushers from behind the defensive front.

Here, both Webb and linebacker Arthur Brown are used as rushers.

With two extra rushers, Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has to make a choice.

At this point, he is in position to see both Webb and Brown blitzing, but since he is the only blocker in the backfield, he’s outnumbered, and the Ravens pounce on the opportunity.

Green-Ellis commits to Webb, freeing up an easy shot on Dalton for Brown, who forces an incompletion.

Blitzing Webb earlier in the game likely made the Bengals aware of that possibility, and when Green-Ellis saw Webb, he made the commitment, likely not expecting Brown to blitz as well.

Now that the Ravens have a Webb-Brown blitz combo under their belt, they used that to their advantage later in the game.

This time, Webb comes up from the slot, and Brown is lined up as an outside linebacker.

 

Again the Bengals running back – this time Giovani Bernard – has to make a choice, and he fully commits to Brown.

There’s only one problem.

Brown was used as a decoy, and he retreats into coverage, but it takes too long for Bernard to react, and at this point Webb has a free path to Dalton.

He forces Dalton into the end zone, where he barely gets a throw off.

The Ravens established Webb’s pass-rushing presence early in the game, and later on implemented other gap blitzers to complement him.

With Webb’s speed, he can’t go unaccounted for when he signals he’ll rush off the edge, which opens the door for other Ravens defenders.

Perhaps five or six of these kinds of plays a game could be what the Ravens need to start forcing more turnovers on defense, giving a struggling offense more scoring opportunities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 
evden eve nakliyat şirketleri ofis taşımacılığı evden eve nakliye istanbul evden eve nakliyat Şehirlerarası Evden Eve Nakliyat İstanbul Nakliyat Firmaları

Hot off the street

Jackson, Campanaro Stand Out In Sunday’s Practice

With cornerback Chykie Brown out of action today with a hamstring injury, Asa Jackson got the call. The third-year player looked sharp in outside coverage. His quickness, smooth backpedal, and anticip...read more

K.O. On the Go, While A.Q. Shipley Looks for Redemption

The first day of practice in which the pads were on and the players were allowed to hit brought some must-see action to the forefront. The line play was at center stage, with Kelechi Osemele looking l...read more

Young Linebackers Impress as the Pads Go On

The Ravens defense had some ups and downs on Saturday afternoon as the Ravens were in full pads for the first time this training camp. Cornerback Chykie Brown had a disappointing day in the Ravens ...read more

Offense Improves, but Pierce Leaves Practice Early

On Saturday, the Ravens hit the practice field for their first padded practice of training camp under sunny skies at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. The offense turned in a sol...read more

Harry O Fought to The Final Whistle

Harry O was a regular participant in “Letters 2 TL”. It’s that mailbag that brought us together. Harry made me feel relevant, like my opinion mattered and was somehow more important than h...read more

View More