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  1. #1

    Defensive Notes 11/18/07--Ray's Greatest Game?

    We could talk about you know what, but it’s not going to change a thing. Let’s instead focus on the defensive side of the ball, where the Ravens used some personnel combinations for the first time. While the Ravens put up a game effort, the defense made a number of changes to get playing time for their young core of talent. First the numbers (all of which exclude kneels and the botched field goal, as usual):

    Vs. the Rush
    32 plays, 121 yards, 3.8 YPC
    Best: Bannan 14/41, 2.9
    Worst: Pryce 9/41, 4.6, Ngata 26/106, 4.1

    Vs. the Pass
    40 plays, 263 yards, 6.6 YPP
    Best: Bannan 9/10, 1.1, Martin 20/96, 4.8
    Worst: Edwards 10/124, 12.4, Gregg 22/183, 8.3

    72 plays, 384 yrds,5.3 YPPA
    Best: Bannan 23/51, 2.2
    Worst: Edwards 27/180, 6.7

    By number of Defensive Backs
    3: 2 plays, 2 yards (the 2 TD’s on 1st and goal at the 1)
    4: 47/282, 6.0 YPPA, 1 turnover, 1 sack
    5: 15/58, 3.9 YPPA
    6: 8/42, 5.3, 1 TO, 1 sack

    The stats by number of pass rushers will have to wait until Friday. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

    • The Ravens may have had another 10-man play. This was a case where I could not verify that Ivy was on the field although he may have been deep to the offensive right side (ORS). The play occurred on 3rd and 7 on the Browns first possession. Barnes came in as an extra pass rusher, replacing Johnson. Ivy could not be seen by any camera angle, including an initial view from the Ravens end zone. The Browns lined up 4 wide, 2 well wide on the left and 2 fairly close to the right. Landry had press coverage on the ORS slot (Winslow) but rushed the QB. McAlister had soft coverage on the outside ORS. Martin is the lone corner on the OLS, covering both Jurevicius and Edwards, but at the snap, Suggs and Scott both dropped into coverage to the OLS and Reed can be seen streaking in as the ball is thrown complete to Jurevicius. There is no sign of Ivy, but McAlister appears to make a hand signal to a player behind him (I have to assume that was Reed). In any case, it would be odd for Ivy to have left the field when he does not sit out any plays these days (he is removed when the Ravens play their 3-safety goal line secondary), but he has lined up in camera view on every other play this season. For statistical purposes, I have recorded Ivy as in for the play, but I honestly believe the Ravens played with 10. Anyone else see it, hear anything about it, or care to review it?
    • The 50-yard Anderson to Jurevicius pass play (last play of the 1st quarter) was very odd in that the pass was completed just 8 yards from the line of scrimmage with 42 yards of YAC. In 2006, the Ravens allowed 20 pass plays of 30+ yards, but not a single 1 was completed less than 15 yards from the LoS (Steve Smith had a catch 15 yards from the LoS with 16 yards of YAC in week 6). I’d say the Ravens ability to defend such plays is a function of strong LB’s, safeties that are typically positioned well, and Ray Lewis’ ability to sniff out a screen pass a mile away. If you are wondering who was on the field, it was the base starting unit for the game, which now includes Ivy and Edwards.
    • The Ravens used an assortment of coverage schemes to jam the Browns outside receivers, particularly Braylon Edwards. Scott and Suggs both drew this duty at times. Techniques such as this might have been used occasionally in 2006, but they are much more common this season with the backup secondary members seeing a lot of snaps and the effectiveness of the pass rush is impacted.
    • Derrick Martin had a good game in the nickel. He was only picked on 1 time for a 10-yard gain, and as you can see above, the Ravens allowed just 3.7 YPPA with 5 DB’s.
    • Jamaine Winborne saw his first significant action, playing 9 snaps, including 2 in the Ravens goal line defense. He did not record a defensive statistic of any sort.
    • Ronnie Prude, meanwhile, had a significant reduction in playing time. After seeing 62 snaps vs. Cincinnati, including 5 before Ivy was hurt, Prude saw the field for just 2 defensive snaps this week. Pittman was also active, but did not see any action on the defensive side of the ball (he did play special teams).
    • The Ravens made several thus far unseen changes to get Antwan Barnes playing time. He replaced Johnson 3 times and Scott 4 times. Prior to the Cincy game, Johnson had played every play the entire season, and Scott had missed just 1 play in the opener. It’s good to see the Ravens looking forwards, and Barnes had a good game, recording his first NFL tackle (or stat of any type, for that matter) on defense in what is now 94 career snaps. Barnes also hit Anderson as he threw complete to Edwards on the play immediately before the play. For whatever reason, the keeper of the Gamebook did not see his way clear to record a QH. What’s astounding to me is the Ravens’ willingness to have Barnes replace Scott for the last 2 defensive plays in a game against such a bitter divisional rival.
    • Ray Lewis had his best game in a very long time, registering 16 tackles (12 solo), a PD, the interception he ran back for a TD, and a fumble recovery. He’s again near the top of the league in tackles and despite all the drama with the “torn” triceps in week 1, he has missed just 1 play all year (Palmer’s 39-yard TD pass in the opener). In my opinion this game moved him from dark horse to likely Pro Bowl selection.
    • How long since Lewis has had a game this dominant? I’d say it was 10/6/02 at Cleveland in the Sunday night game in which he was hurt. That night he had a pick, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a PD, and 4 tackles (the **cough** BS media guide **cough** total was 11) tackles. Lewis’ play in week 4 and 5 of that season represent the highest point in a great career. He willed the Ravens to wins in those 2 nationally televised games and 1st place at 2-2. His cheerleading from the sideline the remainder of that year made the Ravens fun to watch despite the 7-9 record. On that 2002 Sunday night in Cleveland, you may recall he was injured with 14 minutes left in the 3rd quarter while recovering a fumble he had just forced. With Lewis’ takeaway, the Ravens drove 56 yards on 3 plays to take a 20-0 lead. They would hold on to win 26-21. Here’s wishing he has 2 or 3 more good years. However, if it is determined that my current remaining wish total is reviewable, and further review irrefutably indicates that I have only 1 remaining wish, I’d rather use it on an UDFA shut down corner to arrive in a future year of my choosing.

  2. #2

    Re: Defensive Notes 11/18/07--Ray's Greatest Game?

    Good job as usual :D

    So Derrick Martin is at the top of the depth chart amongst the young DBs?

  3. #3

    Re: Defensive Notes 11/18/07--Ray's Greatest Game?


    I have a question for you, if you don't mind. Jamaine Winborne has been on and off the team (practice squad) for about 3 years now. I remember seeing him in some preseason games 2 or 3 years ago, where he did a fairly nice job as a DB. Now, he plays safety. What is your opinion of him as a player? Could the Ravens move him to DB and coach him up to an everyday player? I always rooted for him. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Re: Defensive Notes 11/18/07--Ray's Greatest Game?

    Most excellent post Filmstudy. Thanks.
    Admin Steve :uk:
    Screwing up Ravens message boards since 1999.

  5. #5

    Re: Defensive Notes 11/18/07--Ray's Greatest Game?

    Some other candidates for Ray's best:

    Playoffs vs. Colts '06
    vs Browns at M&T '04 (Black Uni's)
    vs. Titans Playoffs '03
    vs. Broncos '03

  6. #6

    Re: Defensive Notes 11/18/07--Ray's Greatest Game?

    Actually my vote for Ray's best game would be either his Broncos '03 game (garnered him comparisons to LT from Madden), or the Titans playoffs '01 game (Buried McNair and destroyed Eddie George to the point that he was afraid to catch passes out of the backfield, leading to a Ray Ray touchdown, further propelling the Ravens to the AFC Championship game, Superbowl XXXV, etc...)

  7. #7

    Re: Defensive Notes 11/18/07--Ray's Greatest Game?

    Yeah - my vote goes to the MNF Denver game. I brought the other games up because "How long since Lewis has had a game this dominant?". So I was looking in reverse-chronological order. But yeah, Denver 02 was his best ever IMO.

  8. #8

    Re: Defensive Notes 11/18/07--Ray's Greatest Game?

    Denver '02 was the week before the Cleveland game, on 9/30/02. Ray had 18 tackles, a pick that set up a score, and 2 PD's in that MNF game vs. Denver. I'd find no fault with someone that selected that game as either his greatest ever or just the last time he had a game as great a Sunday. Those games were by far the best 2 in a row he ever played.

    In the 2003 Denver game,Ray had another good one with 10 tackles, an interception, and 2 PD's. Top tier, but not quite at the level of 9/30/02 or 11/18/07.

    Ray had 17 tackles in the 2003 playoff game when Tennessee ran the ball 40 times to just 23 passes. There were more tackles to hand out, and he did not record any other non-tackle stats. He had 8 tackles and a PD vs. the Browns in the 2004 game, but he had good coverage on the game-sealing play (which could have been called defensive holding). In the playoff game s. the Colts he had 15 tackles and a very costly PD (prevented Ed Reed's 3rd pick of the game). They were all excellent games to be sure.
    Last edited by Filmstudy; 11-21-2007 at 09:39 PM.


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