Offensive Notes vs. Dallas
After 6 weeks of intense pressure, Joe Flacco finally had some room to throw.
The offensive line produced ample time and space (ATS) on 23 of 36 drop backs (64%), up from a 6-week average of 40%. Unfortunately, he turned in an inverted game, where his numbers without ATS were better.
Let’s start with the metrics and come back to some analysis.
Here are Joe’s results against the Cowboys with and without Ample Time and Space (ATS):
Summarizing relative to expectation:
Summarizing Cowboys pass rush numbers and ATS:
–The 64% ATS was a season high and raised his season ATS % to 45%.
–As you can see from above, the numbers without ATS are extraordinary and the numbers with ATS are below average. In total, Joe did well for the opportunity set provided.
–The offensive line allowed just 1 QH and 0 sacks (Pitta surrendered the sack).
–The Cowboys strategy to drop 8 to coverage regularly wasn’t particularly effective, as the Ravens averaged 9.2 YPP on those snaps.
–Blaming this loss on Flacco is misdirected. For the most part, he hit receivers in stride on short and medium passes. The ball came out quickly and he did not turn the ball over. The Ravens offense averaged 7.1 yards per offensive snap. It’s a good formula to win, and with a single additional 3rd-down conversion, Joe’s line would look rock solid. Unfortunately, this was a game where the play of the Ravens defense limited the offense to just 9 drives and 3 huge penalties on Zuttah played a part in stopping those.
—Kamar Aiken deserves a shout for recovering a 2nd fumble in as many games.
A cursory examination of the Gamebook gives a clear answer. To summarize:
–The Ravens ran the ball frequently and successfully throughout the first half.
–On the first drive of the 2nd half, they had a 22-yard gain by pass, a 1st down run for no gain, then 2 incomplete passes. There wasn’t a great opportunity to run there.
–The next drive started PM5, RR6, RR9, but Zuttah’s tack-on penalty left them with 2nd and 16, effectively killing the run and stalling the drive.
–When the Ravens next received the football, they were down by 2 touchdowns with 11:30 to play. The run was no longer a legitimate option and they didn’t do so for the remainder of the game.
It’s most frequent that teams are tagged with “abandoning the run” in losses, because trailing in the 2nd half limits options.
The Ravens ran just 52 offensive plays (excludes penalties).
Stanley: Ronnie had a near perfect game through 3 quarters (only 2 missed blocks, no negative events). He was bulled twice for pressure on the final 2 drives, once by Lawrence (Q4, 11:24) and once by Davis (Q4, 8:31). He also had 3 missed blocks where he was in the process of getting beat when the ball was out quickly. He had a pressure negated by Crawford’s facemask, but allowed the Cowboy’s DE to put his hand through Flacco’s grill (Q4, 9:34, for which I reduced his subjective adjustment). Stanley was exceptional as a run blocker, with just 1 miss to go along with a pancake, 1 block in level 2, and a highlight pull to drive the penetrating DT Collins (Q2, 15:00).
Scoring: 52 plays, 45 blocks, 4 missed, 2.33 pressures, 1 false start, 37.33 points (.72 per play). C. It was a corroboratively solid performance to his game against the Browns.
Yanda: If Marshal is able to finish the season at LG and the Ravens make the playoffs, I think Ravens fans will categorize the sacrifice with Ronnie Lott’s finger amputation. We won’t understand the pain, but he delivered his best game of the season versus the Cowboys. He allowed a pressure when bulled by Crawford on the final drive (Q4, 1:40), which was his only 0 or negative score of the day. He made all 4 blocks in level 2, and had 1 pancake. Of his 2 highlights, the better was his kickout block held versus DT McClain which led West’s 16-yard run (Q1, 6:18)
Scoring: 52 plays, 51 blocks, 0 missed, 1 pressure, 49 points (.94 per play). After adjustment for opponent quality and his highlights, that’s an A at guard and just 1 point short of an A+.
Zuttah: Aside from the penalties, Jeremy had a good game as a blocker. However, the impact of his penalties are a reminder of why the grading system needs to work the way it does.
Zuttah’s penalties stalled 2 drives and endangered the FG on the Ravens’ last possession of the first half. His score shouldn’t recover from 3 such disastrous flags any more than a hitter who starts the season 0 for 20 can get back to a 1.000 batting average. I’ve gone back and forth mentally on whether the charge for penalties should be reduced to -2 per 5 yards (currently -3), but the primary reason I have not made the change is that the defense frequently requires a splash play to stall a drive and penalties provide that sort of inflection. Zuttah’s only full pass rush event surrendered was a pressure to Irving (Q2, 5:18). He had 4 blocks in level 2 and 3 pancakes.
Scoring: 52 plays, 47 blocks, 2 missed, 1.33 pressures, 2 offensive holdings, 1 unnecessary roughness, 23.33 points (.45 per play). After adjustment, that’s .28 short of a D- at center, F. Without the flags, he would have had a high B.
Ducasse: Vlad made his second straight start at RG and played well. He allowed the only QH charged to the line when he failed to pick up the delayed blitz from Hitchens (Q3, 15:00). He was otherwise party to a pressure and had 2 penetrations shared with Wagner. He had 1 pancake. Vlad made the most of his highlight block, a level-2 pull to eliminate Lee on West’s TD run (Q1, 5:35).
Scoring: 52 plays, 47 blocks, 1 missed, 1 (2 X ½) penetration, 1/3 pressure, 1 QH, 41.33 points (.80 per play). That’s a B- after adjustment.
Wagner: Rick continued to play well. He allowed 2 full pressures, each on a bull by Crawford (Q2, 14:21 and Q2, 2:48). He made all 3 blocks in level 2. The better of his 2 highlights was a kickout on Crawford
Scoring: 52 plays, 48 blocks, 0 missed, 1 (2 X ½) penetration, 2 pressures, 42 points (.81 per play). That’s a B+ after adjustment.
Hurst: Mornhinweg used James for 3 snaps at TE. He made all 3 of his blocks. Nick Boyle is eligible to return this week and could provide a much needed blocking/receiving threat at TE.
If you’re interested in seeing scoring trends for the players this season, these charts will be updated weekly.