Formation and Alignment Notes
— (Q3, 4:56): For the 2nd time against the Steelers this season and the 3rd time overall, The Ravens lined up Alex Lewis on the outside and ineligible (he was covered outside by Flacco). The Steelers didn’t fall for it the first time in Week 4 and left only Sensabaugh on the left side to cover both players. As you can see, neither Flacco nor Lewis is in position to accept a lateral, so the only option would have been a pass to Flacco with a potential block from Lewis.
— (Q1, 13:56): For the first time in 2018, Flacco moved behind Jackson to threaten a lateral followed by a forward pass. Edwards ran up the middle for 10 yards.
— (Q2, 5:20): The Ravens lined up 3rd and 2 at the 4-yard line versus the Steelers nickel. With the Steelers having just 6 heavies and 2 DL on the field, this would have been very difficult for them to stop the QB sneak, particularly if the Ravens had simply called it to be run twice with no huddle on the 2nd try. In any case, running a stretch play (even with Jackson) was doing the Steelers a favor. He was taken down for a loss of 1 and the Ravens were forced to kick a FG.
— (Q1, 5:09): You may have seen the play 10 times by now, but Flacco’s inability to find Jackson wide open by the sideline wasn’t simply a failure to get to his 5th read. It was a failure to read the defense’s reaction to Jackson’s motion. It appears there is confusion in the secondary on who will cover Jackson as Haden pointed inside (I believe at S Terrell Edmunds, who did not move). Those were the clues Flacco needed to move Jackson up on his progression list.
Ample Time and Space
Flacco had ATS on 17 of 39 pass plays (44%).
Summarizing his results with and without ATS:
His results both with and without ATS were both short of his historic levels. Summarizing relative to expectation:
Joe remains 40 yards ahead of his historic norms for the season, but is 106 yards short of expectation for his opportunity set over the last 5 games.
Offensive Line Scoring
The Ravens ran 64 scored snaps (excludes accepted penalties).
The Ravens allowed a complex sack on a key 1st and 20 play (Q3, 1:09) when they had closed the gap to 20-13. This was probably the most complex pass block play to score this season and had impact on grades this week that I’d like to make transparent.
— Skura had a nice handoff of Heyward to Yanda and helped block Tuitt
— Lewis held his part of the double team on Tuitt
— Yanda picked up the stunting Heyward, but gave ground that compromised the pocket within 3 seconds (so the play was not ATS). He had to receive a share of the sack charge, it was just a matter of how much.
— Brown also gave ground to Watt on the right side, who flailed at Flacco with his right arm as he went down with Zeus on top. That’s a nice recovery by Brown, but he did compromise the pocket and you can see Flacco is flushed initially by the combination of compression from the right side.
— Eluemunor pushed OLB Bud Dupree past the pocket and pancaked him. That’s a scoring pancake block, which is rare on a pass play. Then something unexpected happened…Dupree rose and got a half credit for the sack. Eluemunor was not well-positioned to continue the block as he flopped on Dupree’s legs.
— Meanwhile, Buck Allen tried to pick up the blitzing Vince Williams in the left B gap. Buck never got square with the Steelers LB and Williams got half the sack, but not the initial pressure.
There is a sack here, so I have -6 points to assign to players in some combination, which I do based on responsibility for the event, not whose assignment records the sack. Here is how I scored it:
— Lewis and Skura have scoring blocks (no portion of the -6).
— Yanda and Brown each got -2 for the initial pocket compromise. That’s the same score as for an individual pressure.
— I don’t score blocking for eligible receivers, but Buck Allen is allowed to take a share of responsibility from the linemen. In this case, Williams was clearly the first cleanup player to arrive and provided all of the blind-side pressure, so I gave Allen the other 1/3 of the charge.
— Eluemunor had a scoring block. While his assignment did subsequently get up to record a portion of the sack, Jermaine kept the pocket clean for 3 seconds, so he doesn’t get a charge. Despite my desire to consistently apply my system, I reduced Eluemunor’s subjective adjustment for the game, since this play had a significant impact and his secondary failure is not captured by the scoring system. The impact on his grade was approximately 2/3 of the points lost by Brown and Yanda on the play.
Because PFF can only charge 1 or 0 sacks to an individual player, it appears they gave the entire charge to Buck Allen.
Eluemunor: Jermaine’s play was very solid with the exception of the penalties. He was flagged for holding Dupree on the Ravens’ last offensive play of the first half (Q2, 1:08). On that play, he was beaten badly by Dupree’s speed rush, but the decision to hold was a good one, because it saved Flacco from a hard blind-side hit and potential fumble. His only other pass rush charge was a partial pressure shared with Collins (Q1, 5:46). He had 2 blocks in level 2 and 2 pancakes, but did not have a highlight.
Scoring: 56 plays, 52 blocks, 2 missed, ½ pressure, 1 false start, 1 offensive holding, 42 points (.75 per play). That’s a C before or after adjustment, but the reduction for the complex sack detailed above cost him a low B. Eluemunor has now played 75 snaps at LT in Stanley’s absence with an aggregate raw score of .80 (solid B).
Lewis: Alex retuned after 2 inactive weeks and had his worst performance of the year. He was bulled by Heyward to flush Flacco left on the final drive (Q4, 0:37). The play resulted in a sack and Lewis got the full charge. Flacco might have been able to throw the ball away, but Tuitt pursued quickly and would have had a QH at a minimum. Heyward also drew a holding call from Lewis (Q3, 1:24), beat him for a QH by bull rush (Q4, 6:45), and bulled him for a pressure (Q4, 0:08), all of which were full charges. He connected on 2 of 3 pulls, but did not have a level 2 block or pancake. His highlight was a well-maintained kickout on Heyward (Q1, 1:03).
Scoring: 56 plays, 49 blocks, 4 missed, 1 pressure, 1 QH, 1 sack, 1 false start, 1 offensive holding, 29 points (.52 per play). That’s an F at guard. Had the sack charge been reduced to just a QH, he would have been within .03 of passing on an adjusted basis. Lewis had been playing well prior to the injury, but this game and the competition for the LG spot puts his position in jeopardy.
Skura: Matt recovered from a stretch of poor play with a solid game. He was beaten left for a QH by Heyward on what was a tough reach block in the space vacated by the pulling Lewis. He gave up a full pressure to the behemoth NT McCullers by bull rush on the final play of the first quarter. He and Brown failed to negotiate a stunt handoff (Q3, 4:56) which was a tough play all the way around due to the formation (see above). He had 3 blocks in level 2, but did not have a pancake or highlight. He missed his only pull.
Scoring: 56 plays, 50 blocks, 3 missed, 1.5 pressures, 1 QH, 44 points (.79 per play). That’s a C after adjustment. Pittsburgh has one of the toughest interiors the Ravens face with Heyward and Tuitt. In addition, Mornhinweg did Skura no favors in terms of the scheme and alignment challenges presented.
Yanda: Marshal had his lowest score of the season. In addition to the partial sack charge described in the complex play above, he surrendered a full pressure when he failed to pick up the blitzing Bostic (Q3, 3:15) and instead contributed to a triple team on Heyward. Marshal had 2 other shared pressure charges on failed stunt/twist pickups. He did not have a block in level 2, pancake, or highlight. He was not asked to pull.
Scoring: 56 plays, 49 blocks, 3 missed, 2 (1 + 2 X 1/2) pressures, 1/3 sack, 43 points (.77 per play). That’s a B- with adjustment. When a game like this is your worst of the season, you’re playing at a high level.
Brown: Orlando had another solid game against a good opponent. He was flagged for holding when he body-slammed Watt to the ground (Q3, 1:24) while Lewis was coincidentally (and more blatantly) holding Heyward on the opposite side. In addition to the 1/3 sack charge detailed above, he allowed 2 partial pressures (Q1, 5:09 and Q3, 4:56) on stunt handoffs. His 6 missed blocks included 3 cases where he was giving ground or beaten as a pass blocker (but the ball was out quickly), 1 whiff as a run blocker, 1 failure to find a block in level 2, and 1 case where he was late out of his stance. He posted a fine mobility game with 6 blocks in level 2, 1 pancake, and a successful pull on his only such assignment. He had 2 highlights, both of which came on unsuccessful run plays:
— (Q1, 13:27) His push and well-maintained block on Tuitt gave Edwards extra time to recover the fumbled exchange.
— (Q2, 5:20) On Jackson’s failed stretch right on 3rd and 2 at the Steelers 4, he collapsed and sealed Vince Williams in level 2.
Scoring: 56 plays, 48 blocks, 6 missed, 1 (2 X ½) pressure, 1/3 sack, 1 offensive holding, 37 points (.66 per play). That’s a C after adjustment. This was another solid performance by Brown, but not a breakout performance as it’s being billed elsewhere. The play at RT has been consistent, with no grade lower than a C all season.
Game-by-game scoring trends are charted here.