FILMSTUDY: Defensive Analysis 11/22/09 vs. Colts

Filmstudy FILMSTUDY: Defensive Analysis 11/22/09 vs. Colts

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There are as many blame targets as I can remember following this very tough loss to the Colts, but who was most responsible?  Here are a few and my opinions:

  • Cundiff (0):  He made 5 of 6 FGs from average distances.  That’s a very solid performance.  I’d place no blame here.
  • Ngata (4):  He didn’t play particularly well.  Despite 1 tackle for loss, he did not pressure the pocket effectively on passing downs.  His penalty was costly, turning a 2nd and 17 into a 1st down.  Manning would complete the next pass for 24 yards and Stover would convert the game winning FG 4 plays later.  The Ravens were fortunate the penalty did not result in a TD.
  • Not scoring from the 1 in 3 tries (7):  This was bad.  It was also the Ravens first goal-to-go failure of the season.  It might have meant the game, but we won’t know how the Colts would have played differently otherwise.
  • Reed (1):  It was a factor, but not as much as some might say.  Reed made a fine play to run up and grab the bouncing ball, which might have saved 6 or more seconds of game clock.  With 17 seconds left, he tried to make something happen and it was a poor judgment with a small impact on the Ravens likelihood to win.  The team might have gone from 8% to 0% because of it.  Offsetting that, he had a pick, 4 tackles, a PD, and made the initial contact on Santi which held him short of the goal line for Lewis’ FF.
  • Poor pass rush (3):  The pass rush was not effective, but the pass defense was not terrible, intercepting Manning twice.  The Ravens got a good payoff for playing cover 2, manufacturing 2 INTs from their safeties.
  • Flacco (7):  The interception by itself was a 10.  I really didn’t like the play call, because clock management was a huge issue.  A curl route to the 2 or 3 yard line would have been ideal and he and Mason had been good with those all day.  It would have been more effective than other patterns since the Colts also needed to defend the goal line.  Naturally, blaming Flacco for the interception without considering the day in its entirety (75.4 passer rating) is not reasonable and thus the 7.  Excellent pass protection, but he had a poor day nonetheless.
  • Poor clock management (5).  The double timeout was costly.  It was a case where the Ravens were going to call a timeout and their challenge was about to expire without value (at 2:00), so any close play should have been challenged.  It was a bad lapse, and I’m not sure whether or not the Colts might have wanted to pass for the first down after running twice. On the field, Mason should have found a way to get down in bounds after his reception (Q4, 4:17).


The Ravens’ defensive statistics excludes 1 kneel this week:


Overall:  55 plays, 376 yards, 6.8 YPPA


Vs. the Run:  24 carries, 77 yards, 3.2 YPC


Vs. the Pass:  31 pass plays, 299 yards, 9.6 YPP


By number of Pass Rushers:

3:  3/6, 2.0 YPP, 1 TO

4:  20/163, 8.2 YPP, 2 TO

5:  4/96, 24.0 YPP

6:  3/31, 10.3 YPP

7:  1/3 3.0 YPP


By number of Defensive Backs:

3:  None.  That’s good news since the most common 3-DB set is goal line defense.

4:  22/73, 3.3 YPPA, 1 TO

5:  32/288, 9.0 YPPA, 2 TO

6:  1/15, 15.0 YPPA

7:  None


Individual notes:


·      For the 2nd straight game, the Ravens alternated between Webb (24 snaps) and Carr (8) in the nickel.  Webb and Walker played the Ravens only dime along with the starting defensive backs.  Webb was beaten once by Santi, but otherwise did not play poorly.  He’ll have an expanded role vs. the Steelers as will Carr.  I would expect the Ravens to use Zibby in the dime this Sunday.  He offers more in terms of pass rush flexibility.  Walker’s one defensive snap was his first since Minnesota (10/18).


·      Perhaps because of all of the anticipated nickel, the Ravens deactivated both McKinney and Talavou for this game.  The 5 active linemen, Bannan 24, Edwards 38, Gregg 23, Ngata 42, Pryce 31, all got a fairly heavy workload, but Johnson was worked hard, playing every down, as usual, but more as a down lineman than he had previously.  Kruger, surprisingy, played just 7 snaps after replacing Suggs for the last 25 plays at Cleveland.  Barnes, Jones, and Burgess were active, but did not see any defensive snaps.


·      Jameel McClain returned to duty as an outside LB, playing 22 snaps.  He started and played primarily LOLB, lining up on the LoS occasionally, but not as a down lineman that I can recall.  At times under Ryan, McClain would put his hand in the turf both on the edge and on the nose.  McClain had only 1 tackle personally, but the Colts did not embarrass the Ravens while he was on the field (3.3 YPPA)


·      The Ravens dropped a down lineman into coverage on 5 separate occasions, once each Pryce, Ngata, Bannan, Kruger, and Gregg.  They executed only 4 deceptive blitzes on 31 drop backs.  One went incomplete, but Manning completed the other 3 for 12, 13, and 15 yards.


·      Prior to Reed’s fumble, the Ravens were +2 in turnovers.  Since 2000, the Ravens are 48-0 with a +2 or better TO margin.


The Ravens 3 biggest defensive plays.  Big surprise here, they are the 3 turnovers:

  • Lewis FF on Santi recovered by Edwards (Q3, 9:00)
  • Reed’s INT (Q2, 8:47)
  • Landry’s INT (Q1, 5:04)

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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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