The Ravens offensive line was a significant part of the team’s success versus the Bills. Much like the skill-position performances, there wasn’t an extreme standout which would raise fears the line can’t maintain a solid level of play.
However, the line enjoyed multiple advantages they won’t soon have again at the same time. Specifically:
— The wet conditions slowed the Bills pass rushers, particularly on the inside.
— The Bills played 74 scored defensive snaps among 80 total (from Gamebook, includes penalties). All 7 of the Bills active DL players had at least 32 snaps (Gamebook totals).
— The one-sided game resulted in some sloppy line play during a 13-play drive in the 4th quarter when the Ravens had 7 first downs (6 by run). Buffalo’s line looked not only tired, but unenthusiastic.
In a game where the Ravens allowed 2 sacks and 1 other QH which constitute 15 points of charges, only 2 of those went to offensive linemen. As such, the scores are good.
The line gave Joe Flacco Ample Time and Space (ATS) on 16 of 35 drop backs. He exceeded his expected yards for that opportunity set by 20 yards. That’s a terrific performance under poor weather conditions and considering the high drop rate he endured. By comparison, the Buffalo quarterbacks combined to fall 155 yards short of expectation on their opportunity set.
The Ravens ran 74 scored snaps (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 solid game as a pass blocker and was not penalized. He surrendered a full pressure to Hughes when he lost him to the outside as Jackson took a pitch from Flacco, looked to throw, was forced to change direction, and threw the ball away (Q1, 4:43). He was bulled by Alexander for a pressure on Flacco’s TD pass to Crabtree (Q2, 0:17). Stanley also shared a penetration with Brown when he was beaten inside by Harrison Phillips (Q3, 10:01) on Dixon’s run for a loss of 1. He had 4 blocks in level 2 and 1 pancake. His highlight was getting far out front of Lamar Jackson’s 16-yard run left (Q4, 4:05) which nearly made space for Lamar to score. Very few tackles have the mobility to impact a play that far downfield.
Scoring: 74 plays, 67 blocks, 5 missed, 1/2 penetration, 2.5 pressures, 59 points (.80 per play). Adjusted that’s a B.
Lewis: Alex recovered to play well after an early holding penalty and had just 1 other negative event as I scored it. He was bulled into Flacco by Harrison Phillips (Q2, 10:30), but managed to stay in front of him, so Flacco bounced off to the right before throwing incomplete. He was asked to pull 10 times, 9 of which were long (2+ gaps) to the right side. He whiffed on Jerry Hughes (Q2, 13:16) on a short pull left. After that play, Yanda had words with him before tapping his helmet indicating he may have gone the wrong way. He was unable to find a block on 2 other pulls and converted 7 of 10 in total. He had 1 block in level 2 and nothing I scored as a highlight.
Scoring: 74 plays, 67 blocks, 6 missed, 1 pressure, 1 offensive holding, 59 points (.80 per play). After adjustment that’s a C+ at guard.
Skura: Matt played well in his debut at center. He was bulled by Kyle Williams for a pressure (Q1, 2:50) and was penalized for a false start. Of his 3 missed blocks, he was beaten by a spin move but otherwise missed twice in level 2 (less costly). In total he made 8 of 10 blocks in level 2, an above average rate. He was the only Raven other than Lewis to be assigned a pull and connected effectively moving left (Q2, 14:00) on a play that was blown up from the back side. Perhaps most importantly, Alex Lewis, was not impeded on any of his 9 pulls crossing behind Skura from left to right. The Ravens don’t need Matt to be an earth mover (which is one of the big reasons you’ll see him struggle with PFF grading). He simply needs to be able to anchor in the middle, handle exchanges cleanly, and convert his L2 opportunities at a good rate. Aside from a couple of poor snaps, he did just that in Week 1.
Scoring: 74 plays, 70 blocks, 3 missed, 1 pressure, 1 false start, 65 points (.88 per play). That’s a B+ after adjustment at center.
Yanda: Marshal’s play should help quell fears about what he has left after returning from ankle and shoulder injuries. He backed into Flacco as he slung Lorenzo Alexander to the ground (Q2, 13:28) for his only pressure allowed. He had 3 blocks in level 2, 2 pancakes, and was not asked to pull. In a complex highlight, he and Hurst pushed down Kyle Williams at the LoS. Yanda then moved to level 2 and pancaked Alexander on Collins’ 8-yard touchdown run (Q1, 8:49). He exited in the 3rd quarter when Lamar Jackson entered.
Scoring: 49 plays, 48 blocks, 0 missed, 1 pressure, 46 points (.94 per play). That’s an A with or without adjustment.
Hurst: James also exited in the 3rd quarter after a solid game. In terms of full and partial charges:
— (Q1, 6:45) Beaten inside by Murphy for a pressure shared with Stanley
— (Q2, 14:00) Initially no opponent, but was not quick enough to pick up Milano who took down Collins for a loss of 3
— (Q2, 5:05) Bulled by Lawson for a pressure
— (Q2, 2:16) Bulled into Flacco by Murphy for a pressure
— (Q2, 1:13) Bulled by Murphy for a pressure to flush Flacco
He made 3 blocks in level 2. His highlight also came on Collins’ TD run when he helped sling down Williams at the LoS the moved to level 2 to block Edmunds.
Scoring: 49 plays, 34 blocks, 1 missed, 1 penetration, 3.5 pressures, 34 points (.69 per play). That’s a C after adjustment. Prior to reviewing the all-22 for his individual charges, I had him for a 1/3 charge on the sack of Flacco (part of his grade on the podcast), but I’ve since corrected that and credited him a block.
Bozeman: Bradley and Orlando Brown each entered for the final 25 scored snaps. Both players were beneficiaries (in terms of score) of a tired Bills defense that had greatly reduced competitive fire on the long, 4th-quarter drive. He was beaten outside by the stunting Williams (Q3, 9:03) for a pressure which Jackson subsequently ran into a sack. Otherwise, he slipped once for a miss and made all his other blocks. He made 1 block in level 2 and delivered 3 pancakes. His highlight was a combination on Harrison, then Milano in level 2, who he drove 5 yards before pancaking (Q4, 8:30).
Scoring: 25 plays, 23 blocks, 1 missed, 1 pressure, 21 points (.84 per play). B.
Brown: Orlando entered with Bozeman and also scored well. He was party to a pair of shared penetrations on run plays (Q3, 10:01 and Q4, 6:00). He did not make a block in level 2 and had 1 pancake. I did not score him for a highlight.
Scoring: 25 plays, 23 blocks, 0 missed, 1 (2 x 1/2) penetration, 21 points (.84 per play). B.
If you’re interested in seeing scoring trends for the players this season, those charts will be posted shortly and updated weekly.