FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Notes—Ravens vs. Patriots

Filmstudy FILMSTUDY: Offensive Line Notes—Ravens vs. Patriots

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The Ravens ran 72 offensive plays Sunday.

Oher:  I’d like to pick something positive from his performance, so I’d say his play after halftime was excellent with no negative plays and just 1 missed block as I have it scored.  For the game, however, Michael played as poorly as he ever has, essentially matching his very poor game at Minnesota (10/18/09) vs. Jared Allen.  He again had a tough draw, opposite RDE Wilfork.  His first false start was a flinch where he stayed down, but was flagged.  On his second false start he beat the snap by 4 clicks (0.13 seconds), but the first of Grubbs, Chester, Yanda did not move until 0.4 seconds later (.27 seconds after the ball), which helped to sell the flag.  Scoring:  63 blocks, 6 missed, 1 pressure, 1/2 QH, 1 sack, 2 false starts, 1 offensive holding, 41.5 points (.58 per play).  If I split his scoring at halftime, I get 7.5 points on 37 plays (.20 per play) prior to the break and 34 points on 35 plays (.97 per play) after.

Grubbs:  Ben played well again despite some responsibility for both Wilfork and Warren.  I credited him with a block on all 6 pulls, which means he’s now found a block on 17 straight pulls since last missing in the 4th quarter at Pittsburgh.  He had 3 blocks in level 2.  His only negative play was a penetration surrendered to Wilfork (Q2, 12:32).  Scoring: 67 blocks, 4 missed, 1 penetration, 65 points (.90 per play).

Birk:  Matt has been playing well, but turned in a mediocre performance Sunday.  While it doesn’t excuse his individual effort, he was fortunate that neither of his negative plays hurt the Ravens.  His false start put the team in a 1st and 15 hole, but Flacco hit Boldin 3 plays later for the TD that put the Ravens up 17-7.  He was driven back, allowing pressure (but not a QH) when Flacco hit Heap for the Ravens first TD (Q2, 11:53).  Scoring: 68 blocks, 3 missed, 1 pressure, 1 false start, 63 points (.88 per play).

Chester:  An interesting on-field discussion occurred after Wright’s sack (Q1, 4:08).  Yanda slid outside to make a block with Rice, but Wright moved by in right B gap vacated by Yanda and Chester’s double with Birk.  Wright recorded the sack despite Yanda tying to peel off late to stop him.  After the play, Chester was staring down at the pile and Yanda turned him around to discuss the play.  It wasn’t violent nor did it draw attention, but it was communication.  It’s one of those plays that lead me to believe Yanda could be the line’s leader when Birk retires.  While I’m still hopeful he can return to guard, the Ravens’ season depends on the 2 men now playing tackle staying healthy.  Scoring:  68 blocks, 3 missed, 1 sack, 62 points (.86 per play).

Yanda:  I thought he played well, but I have him scored for twice allowing pressure on Flacco on late 3rd downs (Q4, 1:03 and OT 13:36).  He had a solid game of run blocking, but he doesn’t get the opportunity to get a running start and steamroll the 2nd level as he would as a guard.  This week he made 3 blocks in level 2 and pulled successfully on each of his 2 opportunities.  Despite the handicaps, I would make the case that Yanda is playing more above expectation (for his current position) than any other Raven.  Scoring 68 blocks, 1 missed, 2 pressures, ½ sack, 65 points (.90 per play).

Cousins:  Oniel entered for 1 play as a 6th lineman (OT, 10:52) on 3rd and 1 and made a block as McClain made the 1st down.  Where was he on 3rd and 1 or 4th and 1 (Q4, 9:10)?  With 59 defensive snaps, I understand why the Ravens wouldn’t use Ngata on offense, but could Cody and Cousins have participated to a 7-man line?  Scoring: 1 block (1.00 per play).

Individual Offensive Notes:

·         Flacco did not have a comfortable game in the pocket.  From a qualitative perspective, I charged his 2nd sack (0 yards) to him, because he left early and scrambled out of bounds.  He had room to step up on the sack fumble.  When he leaves the pocket to run left, he is as helpless as any right-handed QB you’ll see.  That’s not unusual, since a right-hander moving forward towards the left sideline has a greatly reduced triangle in which to find a receiver.  Roethlisberger is still dangerous in this situation, because he looks to reset the pocket.  Brady and others are effectively able to drift backwards to the left and maintain vision over a greater portion of the field.  I see Joe doing more turning to run left which reduces the total area of the field to which he can throw.

·         I scored Flacco as having ample time and space to throw on 15 of his 38 attempts (39%).  That’s not a good number at all considering how little the Pats brought the blitz.  For the game, the Patriots rushed:

o    3:  14 times, 9/14, 65 yards, 4.7 YPP

o    4:  14 times, 12/12, 142 yards, 2 sacks, 1 TD, 10.1 YPP

o    5:  6 times, 3/5, 38 yards, 1 sack, 1 TD, 6.3 YPP

o    6:  3 times, 3/3, 32 yards, 10.7 YPP

o    7:  1 time, 0/1, 0 yards, 0.0 YPP

·         I do not have a single time where I have the Patriots marked for deceptive pressure.  One measure for that is the number of players who set up on the LoS, then drop to coverage.  There was only 1 case where the Pats dropped 2 to cover (Q4, 11:02) and that time they only rushed 3.  I certainly may have missed a play, but by any measure, the Patriots had a straightforward pass rush.

·         So the pass rush was similar to the Cincinnati and Pittsburgh games with a pass rush of 4 or less on 28 of 38 drop backs.  Joseph and Hall shut down the Ravens’ passing attack when the Bengals got decent pressure with 4.  The Pittsburgh corners aren’t as good and weren’t successful.  McCourty and Arrington are not special players either at this point.  However, the Patriots were significantly more effective rushing 3 than 4+.


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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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