It was certainly nice that Flacco went unsacked for the 2nd straight game, but with 8 (!) running plays going for a loss, 4 QHs, 2 false starts, and 1.9 YPC (excludes kneels), it was a poor effort for the offensive line. Some of the poor scoring was reflective of Cameron’s desire to run into 8-man fronts, but most was simply a very dominant D-Line imposing its will on the Ravens talented but inexperienced unit. The Titans went primarily with a 4-man pass rush, which was generous given the Titans ability to disrupt the pocket in the middle. Had they brought linebackers more often, it’s likely Flacco would have been sacked once or twice.
The Ravens ran just 50 offensive plays, again excluding those 2 kneels.
Gaither: Jared had many more breakdowns than normal, including a twisting QH allowed to Vanden Bosch (Q3, 12:02) that was among the 5 most dangerous looking hits Flacco has taken this season. He was called for a false start and was twice party to a penetration in the run game. He also was asked to pull (Q3, 10:01) on one play. He not only missed his block, but McGahee started left into a wall of run blitzers. Gaither made blocks in level 2 on 6 occasions, and continues to give solid snap-to-whistle effort. Scoring: 44/50 blocks, 3 missed, 1.5 penetrations, 1 false start, 38 points (.76 per play).
Grubbs: Grubbs completed all 4 of his pulls, and made 5 blocks in level 2, but otherwise had a forgettable game. All 5 of his errors came in the running game and his pass blocking remained solid. I especially like the way this team sets up on screen passes. Their timing is generally very good on allowing matador-like penetration and they get in position to throw meaningful blocks, not just trail the play. This week, Chester peeled backwards to make a block when there were not enough targets in front (I failed to make a note that references the specific play). That is something I have not noticed often. Scoring: 45/50 blocks, 3 missed, 1.5 penetrations, 1 false start, 39 points (.78 per play).
Brown: Brown had his worst game of the season against top-quality competition. While he leads all Ravens’ linemen with 9 games of .90 or higher, his .95 vs. the Redskins (12/7) is his only such performance in the last 8 games. He made 6 blocks in level 2. He got tangled with Grubbs (Q3, 5:19) and both went down. What was notable about that play? It’s one of the first times this season Brown got another lineman in trouble with his feet. Given the amount of pulling the Ravens do, that’s very impressive. Scoring: 43/50 blocks, 3 missed, .5 QH, 2.5 penetrations, 36.5 points (.73 per play).
Chester: Chris followed up his best game of the season with a tough effort giving up a piece of 4 separate penetrations or QH’s. He made 4 of 5 pulls successfully and 5 level 2 blocks. Haynesworth, Brown, and Vickerson were all effective taking on the middle of the Ravens O-Line and created opportunities for Fowler and Bullock. For the first time in several weeks, Chester was having to give ground in pass blocking that impacted the integrity of the pocket. Scoring: 42 blocks, 5 missed, 1.5 penetrations, 1.5 QH, 34.5 points (.69 per play).
Anderson: After suffering what appeared to be a stinger in Q1, Anderson played sparingly, returning to total 24 plays. He executed all of his pass blocks successfully, making his 3 errors in the run game. He made 4 blocks in L2. Scoring: 21 blocks, 2 missed, 1 penetration, 19 points (.79 per play).
Terry: He replaced Anderson in the first quarter. Anderson would return twice only to be replaced each time by Adam. The most memorable Terry moment came when he lined up at FB for the first time this season (Q3, 13:28). Flacco completed a 10-yard pass to Mason. Terry executed all 30 of his blocks by my scoring and had a false start which kept him from a perfect score, something no Ravens lineman has achieved this season in half or more of a game’s snaps. It was by far the best performance on the Ravens line. Terry has quietly put together a nice run, connecting on all 53 of his blocks the last 3 games. Scoring: 30 blocks, 1 false start, 27 points (.90 per play).
Slaughter: Entered for one play where the Ravens had 7 offensive linemen (Q2, 12:33). He was charged with a relatively slow-developing QH. 1 play, -3 points (-3.00 per play).
· 5-Man Unbalanced Left: 4 plays, 16 yards, 4.0 YPPA. The highlight was McGahee’s 11-yard run (Q4, 1:56).
· 5-Man Unbalanced Right: 1 incomplete pass
· 6-Man Balanced (Terry to either side of an otherwise balanced line): 3 plays, 10 yards, 3.3 YPPA. I included the play where Terry lined up at fullback and did not motion out (Q3, 13:28)
· 6-Man Unbalanced (3 tackles left in this case): None
· I would expect Harrison to receive a great deal of attention, but the Steelers have a number of other players who can rush the passer effectively. The Ravens won’t be able to get a tackle and back/TE on Harrison every play, but if this game turns into the sort of war of attrition that the first 2 were, each chip executed on him will be key in minimizing his effectiveness.