D-Line vs. Pittsburgh 11/26/06
Not too shabby a game for the D-Line. I've added something new this week, namely number of each down played. I plan to add conversions and turnovers for next week. I finally joined the 21st century and learned how to publish a picture to the web. Hope this is easier to read. The stats for the Steelers game and the season re both here:
1. The injuries are very serious. Bannan out means we see more Edwards. I guess it is better that we know for sure he is a bust before next year. Depth at DL is very important for heat. It's also important to combat the no-huddle (difficult to substitute on the fly, but you really need to be able to take off a series here and there).
2. I am basing a lot on one play, but it sure looked like Cody had taken Johnson's spot at the 3rd DL on passing downs when he took the field on the first 3rd down. Johnson is a valuable and versatile player, but I think Billick and Ryan really wanted to see what Cody could do. He sure looked good in that first game vs. Atlanta, and I hope he gets another shot with the Ravens when he's ready. The injury to Cody means we'll see more of Stills. I would expect him to see between 5 and 15 defensive snaps Thursday.
3. Kelly Gregg saw only 22 snaps, and Ngata just 21. Very nice to get the stars some rest with a game so soon.
4. Johnson, on the other hand, played the most he has this year (44 snaps) while continuing to contribute on special teams. He had a terrific game (64 of the 73 sack yards were with him in there), and it's good to see him play so well in extended time (3 tackles and half a sack wouldbe good, but he also made enormous headway in the yards per play stats I'm posting here). If you can't take the time to mentally line up the above columns, he finished with 92 yards allowed on 41 pass plus run plays, and led the heavies in both yards per pass and yards per run yesterday.
5. Ngata did not register a sack, but he saw multiple blocks on two of the 3 sacks he was in for. How good a year is Ngata having? Well, the Ravens are allowing just 3.9 yards per play on those with him in. That's about half a yard better than the Bears as a team have allowed, and .6 better than the Ravens team total. That Ravens team total includes credit for kneels, which I don't credit to his individual stats. Kelly Gregg is a very good player, a productive tackler, has a nose for the football, and deserves a trip to Oahu, but Ngata is having one of the finest rookie season of any Ravens defender. And yes, that includes Suggs, Boulware, Reed, and Lewis, all of whom were impact players as rookies, but had weaknesses as well. If I had to rank them right now, I'd make it:
1. Reed (86 tackles, 13 PD, and 5 picks for 167 return yards as an every down player. He came close to willing a weak Ravens team to the playoffs after Ray's injury)
2. Lewis (142 tackles for the instant run stuffing master, but took off on 3rd down for much of the year, and did not have the pass defense skills he has now)
3. Ngata (yards per play stand head and shoulders above a very strong unit, but I have to drop him this low because he has only played 40% of the plays)
4. Boulware (66 tackles, 11.5 sacks, he was ahead of Suggs as a complete LB as a rookie, but that's all changed now)
5. Suggs (33 tackles, 12 sacks, 6 FF) and accomplished that with the Roderick Green playbook (There's the QB, go get him!)
Note that the tackles totals here are from the media guide, and those totals are almost always higher than the NFL.com totals.
Come to think of it, I would certainly need to include Landry and Wil Demps if this were a top 10.
One more note to frame up that yards per play number for Ngata. For him to fall to the team average, the Ravens would need to allow 4 consecutive 73-yard TD's with him (and obviously Rolle as well) in there.
Last edited by Filmstudy; 11-28-2006 at 07:05 PM.