FILMSTUDY: Props to the city that Reeds

Filmstudy FILMSTUDY: Props to the city that Reeds

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Have you ever met one of those people who has an analogy for everything?  Some people can come up with the Simpson’s reference for anything, and I can respect that.  For me, it’s always been sports that built a framework for the passage of time. 


This season I have been enjoying watching at least one classic Ravens contest each week with the focus being a previous game against the same opponent.  The game I wanted to watch again before this one was the 10/10/04 game against the Redskins in Landover.  That game, the Ravens trailed 10-0 at halftime due primarily to Kyle Boller’s 3 INTs in the 1st half. 


At (Q3, 9:01), the Redskins lined up for a 3rd and 6 play.  Ed Reed rushed up on the ORS as the left-handed Mark Brunell dropped back.  Reed cruised by Betts (who was apparently protesting to regain his right not to be held in as a blocking back), jarred the ball loose from Brunell, pounced on it, and burst by Betts down the sideline for a TD.  Just 3 defensive plays later, with the Redskins attempting to convert a 3rd and 1, Reed again burst around the ORS and took down Portis in the backfield for a 2-yard loss.  The Redskins were forced to punt, Sams faked a reverse to Sanders and returned it 78 yards for a TD, and the Ravens shut the Skins down from there for a 17-10 win.


There were a lot of similarities between that game and Sunday’s, but most significantly, Reed again struck quickly and decisively with a pick to set up the Ravens first score and the FF/FR/TD combo on Portis.  The game was decided after just 5:30.


On to the stats:


Overall:  60 plays, 254 yards, 4.2 YPPA

Best:  Ngata 35/119, 3.4 YPPA

Worst:  Douglas 23/126 5.5 YPPA


Vs. the Run:  21 carries, 62 yards, 3.0 YPC

Best:  Douglas 12/24, 2.0 YPC

Worst:  No one with 10+ runs against was over 3.0 YPC


Vs. the Pass:  39 pass plays, 192 net yards, 4.9 YPP

Best:  Pryce 34/124, 3.6 YPP, Ivy 29/104, 3.6 YPP, Walker 9/25, 2.8 YPP

Worst:  Douglas 5/68 13.6 YPP, Bannan 9/88, 9.8 YPP, Johnson 38/205, 5.4 YPP


By number of Pass Rushers:

3:  3/-1, -0.3 YPP, 1 Sack

4:  20/126, 6.3 YPP, 2 TO

5:  11/42, 3.8 YPP

6:  3/7, 2.3 YPP, 1 Sack

7:  2/18, 9.0 YPP


By number of Defensive Backs:

3:  None

4:  24 plays, 126 yards, 5.3 YPPA, 1 TO

5:  26 plays, 85 yards, 3.3 YPPA, 2 TO

6:  7 plays, 31 yards, 4.4 YPPA, 1 Sack

7:  3 plays, 12 yards, 4.0, 1 Sack


Individual Notes:


·         For the 13th time in 14 games, the Ravens held their opponent to 60 or fewer (real) offensive plays.  Only versus the Eagles (64 plays) did the Ravens allow more.  By comparison, the 2000 Ravens allowed more than 60 4 times, with a high of 91 in the season finale against the Jets.  The defensive line is all very well rested, and the Ravens have young players at LB and in the secondary salivating for a chance to play just a few snaps.  Ngata has played just 58 snaps the last 2 weeks, Pryce 74, Bannan 40, and Douglas 38 going into what should be a very physical struggle vs. the Steelers.  Lewis sat out the last series of each game, and Rolle did not play the last quarter vs. Cincinnati.


·         This was a game for the Ravens old guard on defense.  Suggs’ pressure caused Reed’s first INT and was 1 of 2 PDs.  He had 4 total tackles for gains of 0, 0, -5, and -13 yards.  His 13-yard sack came on a 3-man pass rush.  Lewis registered 13 tackles and hit Campbell 3 times, dropping him once for a 13-yard sack.  On that play, Campbell fumbled, but was ruled down prematurely.


·         Reed continues to amaze.  I’m convinced that if he could still use his body as the weapon it was in 2004, he’d be the DPOY, and it still might happen despite his injury.  You’ve read the superlatives and seen the highlights many times, so you don’t need me repeating them here.  I would say this, along with the game 2 weeks ago were both among his 5 greatest career games.  Other candidates include 9/14/03 (2 picks in support of Jamal’s 295-yard day), 9/26/04 (4 tackles, 3 PDs, 2 INTs for 90), 11/7/04 (5 tackles, 2 PD, 106-yard INT), and 11/14/04 (9 tackles plus the 78-yard “no, that’s Ed Reed” INT return spark a great comeback vs. the Jets). 


·        Oglesby was a scratch in this game, but the Ravens found playing time for every active member of the secondary.  In addition to the starters and Ivy, Nakamura (1 snap), Stone (2), Zbikowski (2), and Walker (9) all saw action.  The Ravens generated an effective pass rush with 6 and 7 DB’s on the field, as both of their sacks came in such situations.  The Ravens had not used 7 DBs since 11/2 when they did so 9 times (for only 12 total yards) vs. Cleveland.
·        Fabian Washington had a fine game in coverage despite the dropped pick in the closing seconds.  His 4 PD’s led the team and tied the season-high by any Raven.  Among the secondary, only Ivy had a good game as a tackler.  He had 4 stops including a fine takedown of Randle El (Q3, 11:28) to force a Redskins punt.  Reed, Washington, and Walker each missed one or more tackles.  Washington has been a terrific pickup and should be a candidate for a long-term deal.

·        If the Ravens are able to handle the Steelers this weekend, they will almost certainly be headed to the playoffs and it’s time to consider what teams are serious contenders.  I’ll address the topic more thoroughly in another piece, but I can’t finish here without mentioning what a different team this is from the one that played the Colts.  On 10/12, the Colts beat the Ravens in what will hopefully be considered by historians the most lopsided and unexpected loss of the season.  That day the Ravens started Frank Walker opposite an injured Chris McAlister.  Ed Reed was playing through an injury which (by results) appears to have improved.  Derrick Martin was active, but was nonetheless behind Oglesby on the depth chart.  Jameel McClain had not yet played his first defensive snap in the NFL.  Despite the astounding lack of success with the nickel (8.2 YPPA), Ryan was unwilling (or did not have the personnel) to play a single dime or quarter set.  The Ravens turned the ball over 5 times and suffered an always-painful loss to the Irsay progeny.  If the Ravens do see the Colts in the playoffs, I expect we’ll see a defensive scheme which looks like Sunday night and nothing like October.  The game should be competitive.
·        The Ravens extended their streak to 46 consecutive drives without allowing a defensive TD before the Redskins broke through on 4th and 5 (Q4, 11:32).

·        Despite the amount of burgundy, it was perhaps the finest game at M&T for the Ravens’ crowd.  The Redskins committed a Delay of Game, an Illegal Shift, and 4 False Start penalties.  As I’m sure you probably heard, Zorn was quoted at halftime as saying his team’s biggest problem was communication.  He went on to clarify that meant they could not hear each other and needed to “yell louder”.  Nothing like a little positive reinforcement for the 12th man.


·         The Ravens 3 biggest defensive plays:

    • Reed’s FF/FR/TD—Reed overtly made no attempt to make the tackle despite being the first man to Portis.  With Leonhard holding Portis’ shoulders, Reed worked on that ball for over 3 seconds before prying it loose.
    • Suggs’ hit causes Reed’s first Interception—Last week the Bengals were very fortunate to avoid an interception on the many deflected passes.  This week, the first such tip was spectacularly gathered in by Reed.
    • 6-way tie to the 5-yard penalties contributed by the very loud crowd.
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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