Defensive Line 12/17/06 vs. Browns
Another fine day for the defense. Not perfect, but it had most of the trimmings:
--The Browns went 0 for 11 on 3rd down and 0 for 1 on 4th down
--The Ravens accumulated 6 sacks, including 1 on Kellen Winslow
--Only 236 yards allowed, 4.3 per play
--Only 1 defensive penalty for 5 yards, as the Ravens continued a very significant turnaround from last seasons undisciplined team. A lot of fans are loking at the Bears and Ravens from a yards-per-game perspective (edge to the Ravens by 12.6 entering Sunday), but the Ravens have had 405 fewer penalty yards (31.2 less per game than the Bears)
The heavies were in for the following of 59 total snaps (inc. 4 accepted penalties):
1. Of the 39 pass plays, the Ravens rushed:
--3: 0 times
--4: 21 times (5.1, 2, 1)
--5: 13 times (3.6, 2, 1)
--6: 4 times (6.3, 1, 0)
--7: 1 time (-9.0, 1, 0)
The parenthetical #'s are yards per play, sacks, and turnovers. I'll post some season stats on that this week, but there's a lot to say about those.
2. Edwards 12 plays were almost 20% of his season total, and the results were not good, with those resulting in 88 yards (7.3 per play). He's a complete non-factor in the pass rush.
3. Pryce had a magnificent game in every respect. 2 sacks, 2.1 yards per run, and 3.6 yards per play all led the team. If you were looking for another reason to like him, he's led the regulars in % of his plays that result in turnovers (4.7%)
4. I know some of you are probably are getting tired of hearing about Ngata, but he's having one of those great years. Somehow, this guy seems to avoid being in for most of the big plays. It can't all be luck. His contribution today was a little different, he allowed 5.0 yards per rush, but just 3.7 yards per pass. For the season, he now leads the team in yards per rush, yards per pass, and yards per play. Last week someone asked me to describe what I am seeing in his play, and I can't put my finger on why he should be so successful, but let me note some things:
--Anyone coach D-Line out there in HS or college? Is there a general rule that the heaviest internal pass rushers automatically gets a double? That seems to be the case with Ngata, and it's making our other pass rushers better. I am planning to review every sack for the season, and I hope that sheds some light on the situation.
--Earlier in the year I commented on his very erect style. It seemed to me this might have been at the root of some of the durability issues from college (he came with the rep of taking a lot of plays off). I have not been noticing the "standing up" thing as much recently. Nothing scientific, I just have not noticed it as much.
--Possibly a function of weight (or perhaps width of his base), he does not seem to get pancaked with the frequency of other linemen.
--He and Gregg have a slightly different stance when down. Ngata appears to focus on the ball with his head down. Gregg tilts his head up slightly, either reading the man across or taking in both the ball and the line. I wouldn't have noticed, but that stance makes it a lot easier to identify the players when I have only an SD copy of the game to review.
--Neither Gregg nor Ngata has been penalized for encroachment or offsides this year that I can recall, but Pryce and Suggs, both of whom have, are much faster off the ball. It makes sense when you think about pass rushers vs. interiors, but Sam Adams had one of the best first steps I have ever seen, and he was (and is) a DT.
5. Stills did not see action on defense after 8 plays in KC. I know he is terrifically valuable on ST's, but I don't see why he would not be playing DE in place of Edwards. I'm going to try to give Edwards the benefit of the doubt. Given his enormous size, he probably helps tire the tackles he faces. Then those same unfortunate players have to face Pryce, Suggs, or Thomas shortly thereafter.
6. Related to 5, Ryan is doing a great job of mixing up the rush assignments. Merlin Olsen always used to say there is nothing more tiring than rushing the passer. The side benefit of the Ravens many blitz schemes is that AD, Suggs, Johnson, and even occasionally Pryce are each able to drop back into coverage for some plays. This has to be helping with their pass rush effectiveness.
7. The Ravens set the team record for season sacks today with 52 (1999-49, 2003-47). Given that Buffalo and Pitt have allowed 41 and 43 sacks respectively (both bottom 8 in league), I'd say we have a good shot at 60.
I'll post the game and season spreadsheet in the next few days.
Thanks Debi for giving me the copy of the Cincy game I was missing!
Re: Defensive Line 12/17/06 vs. Browns
Re: Defensive Line 12/17/06 vs. Browns
Great analysis as always.