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  1. #1

    10/14/07 Defense Piles up Numbers vs. Hurting Rams

    It’s always nice to see the Ravens play a game as dominant as Sunday’s, but it’s difficult to imagine a team more decimated by injury. As a good team should, the Ravens defense feasted on a very weak foe in this stat-padder of a game. By numbers:

    Vs. Rush: 25 plays, 71 yards, (2.8 YPC)—This excludes the 2 kneels for -4
    Vs. Pass: 40 plays, 197 yards (4.9 YPP)
    Overall: 65 plays, 268 yards (4.1 YPPA)—Again, excluding kneels

    By Defensive Set:
    Standard (4 DB’s): 26 plays, 106 yards, 4.1 YPPA, 2 sacks, 4 TO
    Nickel (5 DB’s): 37/146, 3.9 YPPA, 2 sacks, 2 TO
    Dime (6 DB’s): 2/16, 8.0 YPPA

    By Number of Pass Rushers:
    3: 2 plays, 16 Yards, 8.0 YPPA
    4: 18/106, 5.9 YPPA, 1 sack, 1 TO
    5: 19/75, 3.9 YPPA, 3 sacks, 4 TO
    6: None
    7: 1/0, 0.0, 1 TO

    Individual Notes:
    • It could be argued that each of the 4 Ravens that can play DT had their best games by productivity stats:
    o Edwards had 4 tackles and an interception. Amazingly, Dwan had 3 previous games in 2005 with 4 tackles, but he had never recorded either a sack or an interception before yesterday.
    o Bannan had his first sack as a Raven and was on the field for 2 sacks in just 13 passing plays. Previously, as a Raven, he’d been on the field for 2 sacks in 93 passing plays. His 5 tackles also more than doubled his season total. He also forced a fumble that the Ravens recovered.
    o Gregg’s 7 tackles moved him back to his accustomed position near the top of all DT’s. He has only had 8 or 9 tackles in a game 5 times, and none of those had both a sack and FR. He did have 7 tackles and 1.5 sacks in the game against the Jets at the Meadowlands in 2004.
    o Ngata’s previous best game occurred vs. Pit last 12/24 when he had 6 tackles and a sack. Yesterday he had 7 tackles (5 solo) and a sack.
    • In addition to the productivity, Ngata had a huge game. The Ravens allowed just 1.5 yards per rush with him in and 4.1 YPC with him out. The difference is truly amazing. With Ngata in, this is that rare team that can stop the run consistently with 7 in the box.
    • The Ravens had the dime on for just 2 plays Sunday. After recording their first 6 sacks of the year in the dime, the Ravens have now recorded 6 of their last 7 with less than 6 DB’s. For whatever reason, the Ravens kept a big lineman in for a number of 2nd and long and 3rd and long plays where they typically had gone to the dime this season.
    • The Ravens looked like their old selves aggressively attacking the football defensively and thinking 6 each time they made a pick. I was especially impressed by McAlister’s block on Haggins during Ivy’s return. He had to push him 20 yards back. Despite the near fumble, I also like Reed looking for the lateral to Rolle. Classic Reed. He’s going to create a big play 1 time in 3 or 4 doing that.
    • Reed is headed towards his best year for interceptions. He’ll never repeat the 2004 yardage on returns, but he’s playing a deep centerfield on virtually every play. Since he’s no longer used against the run, he’s in position to gamble for many more picks.
    • Proponents of the “Exponential Defensive Improvement Theory” (EDIT) believe the Ravens defense gains flexibility above and beyond the individual player upgrade with the return of an injured player. For instance, the return of Samari Rolle will:
    o Improve coverage on the outside
    o Allow Corey Ivy to return to NB where he can be used in his traditional pass rushing role or cover the slot
    o Get Martin and Prude “focused” on their special teams duties they’d apparently been neglecting
    o Free up Gerome Sapp to bulk up to be used at Defensive End or Fullback on an as-needed basis
    o Reduce mortality rates from Avian Flu
    o Cause a simultaneous rollback to 1977 prices among vendors outside the stadium (too bad you can’t take the food inside)
    It’s a good theory, and I actually believe the first 2 points. Of course, as a Ravens fan, I feel like Bill Murray at the end of Ghostbusters (“I love this plan, I’m happy to be a part of it…”). There is simply no other hope for the Ravens defense to improve substantially.
    • Anyway, the first test of EDIT went well. Ivy continued to play well when used either outside or inside, and Rolle played very well when in. He deflected a potential TD pass and chased down his own hyper-aggressiveness (after attempting to jam at the LoS) on the near interception. Rolle’s play in the nickel was a huge improvement over Martin/Prude, and the secondary can legitimately be credited with 3 of the 4 sacks (only Suggs’ was quick to develop). As a whole, the defense gambled and won many more times. If the Ravens can avoid further defensive injuries, they stand to take another big leap forward when Pryce returns.
    • The pass rush returned to 2006 form. The Ravens rushed 5 or more 20 times during which the Rams gained just 75 yards (3.8 YPPA) with 3 sacks and 5 turnovers. With 4 or fewer rushing, the Ravens allowed 122 yards on 20 plays (6.1 YPPA) with 1 sack and 1 TO.

    In which situations have the Ravens been burnt this season?

    I was very surprised to see how pronounced this has been, but the answer is very clearly “1st down passes”:
    • On 65 1st down pass plays the Ravens have allowed 648 yards, 10.0 YPP. By comparison, on all other plays, the Ravens have allowed just 969 yards on 270 plays (3.6 YPPA)
    • Fortunately, opponents have thrown less than 25% of 1st downs, and the Ravens have held opponent to just 2.7 YPC and 6.1 YPPA.
    • Those big 1st down plays include:
    o Palmer to Johnson for 39 yards in the opener, Cincy’s biggest play and the only play Ray Lewis has missed this season (Pryce also was out for this play)
    o The Jets 2 biggest plays in week 2, both Clemens to Cotchery for 44 (10 men on the field) and 50 yards
    o All 3 of the Cardinals 30+ yard plays (all Warner to Boldin for 30, 32, and 37 yards)
    o The Browns longest play, Anderson to Edwards for a 78-yard TD
    o San Francisco’s 2nd longest play and only TD, Dilfer to Battle for 23 yards.
    o A pair of 20-yard pass plays vs. the Rams (their only longer play was a 23-yarder on 3rd down)
    • Is there some discernable pattern in those 10 plays which make up 373 of the 648 yards?
    o The Ravens were in the Nickel 3 times, the dime twice, and had 4 DB’s the other 5 times
    o The rushed 3 once, 4 men 5 times, and 5 4 times, close to their season averages
    o The only variable personnel (other than the nickel and dime backs and Lewis as mentioned above) are the linemen, and of those Bannan was in for 4 plays, Barnes 1, Edwards 4, Gregg 7, Ngata 6, and Pryce 0. Suggs was in for all 10, but he’s played almost every play this season. If you wanted to say the absence of Pryce has a lot to do with it, I wouldn’t disagree, but the others are all fairly close to their percentage of 1st downs played.
    The 2006 Ravens had some very discernible patterns of big plays allowed. Specifically, Rolle got burnt a lot and Ngata was on the field for many fewer big plays than expected based on his total snaps. This year, the best I can do is file this topic away for future analysis.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Re: 10/14/07 Defense Piles up Numbers vs. Hurting Rams

    Incredible analysis as usual.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Foggy Bottom, DC

    Re: 10/14/07 Defense Piles up Numbers vs. Hurting Rams

    thanks again filmstudy. I wish I had something more to add but its 3 in the morning and I'm replying from my phone. We need to get pryce back but is was nice to see samari's return give us a boost. I still think we need a first or second round cb in the draft this year and a second day defensive end.

    Wasnt burgess a de in the style of a Freeney. I remember hearing the colts wanted him to be depth there for them. Any chance he could be our back-up de?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    SW Florida (Venice area)

    Re: 10/14/07 Defense Piles up Numbers vs. Hurting Rams

    Another premium analysis, Filmstudy. Sports Illustrated take note.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Cub Hill, MD

    Re: 10/14/07 Defense Piles up Numbers vs. Hurting Rams

    Boffo. Really good stuff.

    Wonder if Ryan is aware of the 1st down passing issue? Maybe someone who wuns this site should point this out to the coaches and the players.

    WORLD CHAMPIONS 2000 * 2012

  6. #6

    Re: 10/14/07 Defense Piles up Numbers vs. Hurting Rams

    I knew that we had been burnt on first down a lot this season, but I didn't realize it was that extensive. Stellar job as usual, filmstudy.

    We can expect opponents to try to continue this trend, I'm sure.

  7. #7

    Re: 10/14/07 Defense Piles up Numbers vs. Hurting Rams

    Thanks Filmstudy.

    Bill Murray: “I love this plan, I’m happy to be a part of it…”

    Or Harold Ramis a few minutes later. . . "I feel like the floor of a taxicab."

    Quoteworthy movie, to be sure.

    His definitions and arguments were so clear in his own mind that he was unable to understand how any reasonable person could honestly differ with him.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Mt. Arrogance in the middle of the .11 rolling acres of The Windbag Estates

    Re: 10/14/07 Defense Piles up Numbers vs. Hurting Rams

    This should be e-mailed to the Ravens. Great stuff as always!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Glen Burnie

    Re: 10/14/07 Defense Piles up Numbers vs. Hurting Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenWave52 View Post
    Wasnt burgess a de in the style of a Freeney. I remember hearing the colts wanted him to be depth there for them. Any chance he could be our back-up de?
    It was Antwan Barnes, and they seem to be slowly working him in on 3rd and long situations.
    ... They shall mount up with wings as Eagles;


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