Gaither: Did not show the run push he has in previous games. He’s staying with his blocks, but the fewer unbalanced plays and the lack of 6-lineman formations may have limited his ability to get good inside run-blocking opportunities. The Ravens ran 8/17/11 times to the L/M/R respectively. That’s a little unexpected given the injuries on the right side. The 8 runs to the left gained 59 yards (7.4 YPC). Gaither had 1 tough play in pass protection. While his man did not get the sack, he was beaten by the blitzing Will Allen on Porter’s first sack. That, along with an extra rusher on the left caused the pocket to be flushed and Porter looped inside, then slipped off Brown to record the sack. I charged that one equally to Brown, Grubbs, and Gaither. Gaither also picked up a holding penalty that wiped out a 9-yard run on the Ravens last drive. Scoring: 56/61 blocks, 4 missed, 1/3 of a sack allowed, 1 holding penalty, 48 points (.79 per play).
Grubbs: His push was good, but he did not have any level 2 blocks I noticed on running plays. Obviously some of that is a function of how and where the Dolphins crowded the LoS. All 3 interior OL’s were terrific on 2 screen passes run just 3 plays apart in Q4 (see below), but Grubbs delivered the key block on each play. He was asked to pull just twice and both times found a block. I charged him with a portion of Porter’s first sack. Scoring: 58/61 blocks, 1 missed, 1 penetration, 1/3 of a sack allowed, 1 false start, 51 points (.84 per play).
Brown: At some point I’m going to start taking this for granted, but the footwork is just excellent among Brown, Flacco, and the Guards. Try watching a replay of just 1 or 2 pulling plays and you’ll see big men, maneuvering precisely in tight spaces. Brown is the player who can trip any of the 3 with a misstep or penetration, so he gets the most credit. If you go back and watch the 2003 Ravens, I think they had a better run blocking line, but it was very painful to watch the number of instances of tripping. Imagine, as actually occurred, each of those trips causing a loud and profane exclamation at either the TV set or the field and you have a very hoarse man with a number of folks looking back at him. Scoring: 57/61 blocks, 3 missed, 1/3 sack allowed, 55 points (.90 per play).
Unbalanced: The Ravens ran their unbalanced formation 5 times, all with
Screens: The Ravens ran the screen very effectively Sunday. I hope this means it’s going to be a bigger part of the offense, because they have the personnel to make it effective. Two plays are worthy of special note (and review). Both occurred on the Ravens 2nd drive of Q4 (14:45, and 12:57). You’ve seen the highlights of these plays which were a 40-yard gain by Rice and a 35-yard gain with a fumble by McGahee, but if you have the chance to watch those plays again, take a look at the offensive line.
An awful lot went right on that first play. First, the Ravens sold their blocks as they allowed their opponents through, including Rice who chipped before releasing. Next, each of the interior linemen positioned himself well for downfield blocking setting up 3 wide within a yard or so of the LoS as Rice received the ball. The only Dolphin who appeared to be in position and diagnosed the screen was Kendall Langford, the LDE. Grubbs peeled back and blocked him high to the shoulder and helmet sending Langford rolling.