FILMSTUDY: Ravens O-Line goes under the scope

Filmstudy FILMSTUDY: Ravens O-Line goes under the scope

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Return of the Simple Offensive Line Model vs. Patriots 12/3/07
I came up with a very rudimentary scoring system which is designed to allow for review of a game in 1 hour or less:
  • Each play with a successful block or maintaining a gap in pass blocking: +1
  • Each penalty: -3 per 5 yards
  • Each sack: -6 divided among those responsible
  • Each QH allowed: -3 divided among those responsible
  • Play with no block or a missed block: 0
  • Play with a missed or failed block that allows significant backfield or pocket penetration: -2 (this was the one change from the first time when I had significant penetration as only -1)
  • Blocks on plays with penalties are included if the play goes off (excludes pre-snap penalties)
NOTE: All sacks and QH’s will not be distributed since they may have a back or TE as responsible or occur because of an overload.  I would describe my actual scoring strictness as “when in doubt, credit the block.”
This system is pretty good for counting mistakes, and it’s not bad for pass blocking, but it fails to capture a lot about good run blocks, when linemen pull, the relative value of blocks based on the result of the play, etc.  It also fails to capture the quality of the opposing lineman or the lineman standing next to you, each of which would require much more effort to track.  It’s by no means perfect, but it’s intended to be a simple system to gauge players relatively and track improvement on a gross level.  Please review my 24X7 archive if you’d like to see the results from the Rams game when I previously used this model. 
I have never received more feedback on something I’ve written than the first of these analyses, so I want to reiterate that the key is the 1 hour or less to grade.  I know the model could be greatly improved with additional time with the video and individual grades by play, relativity scores for opponent and even opposing player etc., but I’m not going to go to that effort.  I am happy to help someone by setting up the model in a spreadsheet provided he or she does the grading and shares the results.
Anyway, this was a great game for the Ravens offensive line with 0 sacks allowed, no penalties, and lots of success in the running game.  The Ravens ran 60 offensive plays, all of which included Ogden, Brown, Flynn, Grubbs, and Yanda.  Notes and Stats:
  • The Ravens ran an unusual unbalanced line formation 4 times, with Marshall Yanda moving to Ogden’s left and Sypniewski lining up at RT.  On the 4 unbalanced line plays, the Ravens ran 3 times (once each to the left, middle, and right) and passed once.  For purposes of the stats below, I have graded Yanda on every play including when he lined up as a TE and have not graded Syp when he lined up at RT.
  • In addition, the Ravens used Chester as a 6th offensive lineman in 2 goal line situations on their 2nd drive.  To the best of my knowledge, neither Chester nor Yanda reported as tackle eligible even when lined up as would have allowed it.
  • Ogden struggled at times with the bull rush of AD.  He recorded 56 blocks, 3 missed blocks, and a QH.  That totals 53 points on 60 plays, a blocking ratio of .88 (1.00 is perfect).  With Chester on in the goal line set, 2 defenders rushed outside, effectively leaving Ogden picked out of the play.  Subjectively, I’d say his run blocking was as good as it has been in a long time.  He effectively sealed off the edge and looked for downfield blocks.
  • Brown recorded 57 successful blocks, missed 2, and allowed 1 penetration (55 points on 60 plays, .92).  It was the best individual effort of the 2 games I’ve reviewed with this system.  I’d say that matches my subjective analysis as well.  He looked agile pulling and registering blocks downfield.
  • Flynn had 56 blocks, missed 1, allowed penetration twice, and was beaten for 1 QH (49/60, .82).  It’s the things that don’t happen that make a good Flynn game.  All snaps were delivered cleanly, he did not trip Boller, and while he surrendered some ground, he was not constantly pushed backwards allowing for pulling by both Grubbs and Brown.  With some responsibility for both Wilfork and Seymour, I think we’d have to call this a very solid game.
  • Grubbs registered 54 blocks, missed 3, allowed 2 penetrations, and was beaten by Wilfork for a QH (totals 47/60, .78).  Subjectively, I’d say Grubbs looked good when run blocking, pulling at least twice and seeking blocks off the line of scrimmage, but he still seems a little lost when pass blocking.
  • Yanda recorded 57 blocks, missed 1, allowed penetration once, and allowed 1 QH (52/60, .87).  He was tough and versatile.  I agree with the consensus that he’d be even better as a guard.  If the Ravens were to lose Jason Brown, I’d also hope he would be considered to play center. 
  • None of the 5 starters had a perfect half of blocking with Brown and Flynn coming the closest (1 penetration each in the 2nd half)
  • The last of New England’s 5 QH’s was not the responsibility of a lineman.  McGahee had the best shot, but missed AD rushing from the blind side.  Of the 5 times Boller was hit, he completed 4.  I don’t know for sure, but I’d guess the league average would be well under 50%.

Photo by Sabina Moran

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Ken McKusick

About Ken McKusick

Known as “Filmstudy” from his handle on area message boards, Ken is a lifelong Baltimorean and rabid fan of Baltimore sports. He grew up within walking distance of Memorial Stadium and attended all but a handful of Orioles games from 1979 through 2001. He got his start in sports modeling with baseball in the mid 1980’s. He began writing about the Ravens in 2006 and maintains a library of video for every game the team has played. He’s a graduate of Syracuse with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Math who recently retired from his actuarial career to pursue his passion as a football analyst full time.

If you have math or modeling questions related to sports or gambling, Ken is always interested in hearing new problems or ideas.

He can be reached by email at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @filmstudyravens.

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