The Stages of Grief

Filmstudy The Stages of Grief

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Offensive Line Model & Notes vs. Vikings, 10/22/17

You have heard of the 5 stages of grief when faced with loss or bad news (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).

By survey of social media and message boards, it’s a little different for fans as their football team’s season begins to unravel:

Stage 1: Moping over a loss due to a bad call or missed opportunity. This is very similar to denial and I know few if any fans who don’t do this after most close losses. It’s healthy, but you want to minimize the time doing it each week.

Stage 2: Complaining generally about scheme and the lack of creativity from coordinators. We have to be mad at someone, dammit. Fire Pees and Mornhinweg. It better be those guys who are responsible, because our players can’t be replaced.

Stage 3: Suggesting trades, releases, or acquisitions with no consideration for the practical constraints of league rules or the salary cap. This is bargaining in the purest form and you’ll hear another (I hope) fan say, “If they would just sign Kaepernick, he’d be better equipped to succeed with this line and they can just cut Flacco.” Don’t even bother to engage with that guy; the only thing that will change is your blood pressure.

Stage 4: Bemoaning mounting injuries. These are a fact of life in the NFL. Coaches won’t use them as an excuse (until the season is over), because 1) depression is not useful or actionable and 2) no one wants a full-scale investigation of the causes. For fans, it might be the most appropriate stage for the 2017 team, but it’s, well…depressing.

Stage 5: Obsessing over draft options during games. In a sense, this is acceptance, but it’s also the stage Browns fans have been in since 1999. Fans here are always at least a little concerned about the value of tanking. There’s football being played. Perhaps you can enjoy it for the competition or solely as a player-development exercise. In any case I have no interest in trying to handicap how the Ravens will draft in 2018 prior to elimination from playoff contention and then only between games.

Offensive Line Scoring

The Ravens ran 64 scored snaps versus the Vikings (excludes accepted penalties which result in no play, kneels, spikes, and special teams plays that result in a run or pass).

Stanley: Ronnie had a difficult matchup against Everson Griffen, who is 3rd in the NFL with 9 sacks. The Vikings edge rusher beat him for 1 sack cleanly (Q4, 15:00). Later, Stanley pushed Griffen past the pocket, but Flacco left his spot and failed to unload before Griffen caught him from behind for a sack/FF (Q4, 1:46). He allowed 2 other pressures (1.5 to Griffen), but otherwise did not allow any other pass rush events or penetrations, and avoided being penalized. He had 3 blocks in level 2 and made his only pull, but he did not register a pancake or highlight.

Scoring: 64 plays, 55 blocks, 5 missed, 2 (1 + 2 x 1/2) pressures, 1 sack, 45 points (.70 per play). That’s a C at tackle after adjustment.

Hurst: James Hurst has been playing well for 4 weeks now. He was bulled by Griffen for a QH shared with Jensen (Q2, 11:28) for his only pass rush event allowed. He shared a penetration when Joseph penetrated across his face to blow up Collins for a loss of 1 (Q3, 6:11). He had 2 blocks in level 2 and converted 3 of 4 pulls (now 17 of 20 over the last 3 games). He did not have a highlight or pancake as I scored it.

Scoring: 64 plays, 59 blocks, 3 missed, 1/2 penetration, ½ QH, 56.5 points (.88 per play). After adjustment that’s a A. Given his last month’s play, Hurst will have a job somewhere in the NFL next season by virtue of the value he brings as a swingman. If he continues at or near his current level of play for the rest of the season, I expect that job will be as a starting guard. I don’t want to minimize the effort required by James to elevate his game, but this must also be cited as a victory for the Ravens coaches Joe D’Alessandris and Greg Roman who have extracted much more than could reasonably have been expected form a patchwork offensive line.

Jensen:  Ryan got back on track with a solid game. He surrendered a pressure to Joseph on a bull rush (Q1, 9:21).  Joseph also bulled him for the QH shared with Hurst (Q2, 11:28). Of his 3 missed blocks, I recorded only 1 as a case where he was beaten and giving ground. He made his only pull, had 6 blocks in level 2, and delivered 1 pancake. His highlight was a gorgeous L2 cut block to take out Barr (Q3, 10:42).While he would normally be entitled to a more significant adjustment with an opponent of Joseph’s quality, I reduced it to .01 due to a handful of low shotgun snaps, one of which was fumbled by Flacco. Lots of scheme issues can’t be corrected in a short week of practice, but this is a mechanical issue he should be able to address in time for Thursday’s game.

Scoring: 64 plays, 59 blocks, 3 missed, 1 pressure, ½ QH, 55.5 points (.87 per play). That’s a B with or without adjustment.

Eluemunor: Jermaine took a big step backwards after a promising first NFL start. To summarize his negative events:

— (Q1, 2:15): He was beaten across his face by Joseph who dropped Collins for a loss of 1.

— (Q1, 1:41): He was beaten outside by DT Johnson for a 7-yard sack.

— (Q3, 6:11): He was beaten outside when pulling as Collins was again dropped for a loss of 1.

— (Q3, 5:36): He was beaten outside by DT Stephen for a pressure shared with Stanley.

— (Q4, 1:37): He was beaten by Robison’s spin move for a pressure.

He also had a pair of false starts on the final drive. He had 2 blocks in level 2, 2 pancakes, and 3 highlights. The best of his highlights was a level 2 pancake of Barr (Q2, 0:31).

Scoring: 64 plays, 57 blocks, 2 missed, 1.5 penetrations, 1.5 pressures, 1 sack, 2 false starts, 39 points (.61 per play). After adjustment, that’s a high F at guard.

Howard:  Austin turned in a solid performance despite allowing a sack.  He was beaten outside by Hunter for an 8-yard sack that forced the first Ravens punt (Q1, 13:41). He also was beaten on bull rushes for pressure once each by Hunter and Johnson. He had 2 blocks in level 2 and 2 pancakes. His highlight was a combination block where he teed up Hunter then took on Waynes in level 2 (Q3, 6:47).

Scoring:  64 plays, 56 blocks, 4 missed, 2.5 pressures, 1 sack, 45 points (.70 per play). That’s a C after adjustment.

If you’re interested in seeing scoring trends for the players this season, these charts will be updated weekly.

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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 or followed on Twitter @filmstudyravens. More from Ken McKusick


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