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  1. #1

    6 Weeks to Remember

    Reed and Lewis Star in Home Finale--Defensive Notes 12/28/08 vs. Jaguars

    Another nice defensive laugher with plenty of offense to enjoy. The Ravens set a number of marks and have an impressive playoff resume. You know the marks. No opposing team scored over 13 points in Baltimore this season, something that has not happened since before the merger (’62 Packers). Mason went over 10,000 career yards. Flacco/Harbaugh and Ryan/Smith have parallel success. In terms of a playoff resume, the Ravens:
    • Have not been beaten by a team with a record worse than 12-4, nor lost to a non-playoff team
    • Have 3 of 5 losses to the AFC’s 2 top seeds by 3, 3, and 4 points respectively
    • Have not won a single game by less than 7 points (and they should have won that Cincinnati opener by 24+)

    There were again no kneels or spikes to be excluded this week:

    Overall: 53 plays, 245 yards, 4.6 YPPA
    Best: Bannan 31/103 3.3 YPPA
    Worst: Ivy 26/140, 5.4 YPPA

    Vs. the Run: 27 carries, 118 yards, 4.4 YPC
    Best: Bannan 17/50 2.9 YPC
    Worst: Johnson 16/83, 5.2 YPC

    Vs. the Pass: 26 pass plays, 127 net yards, 4.9 YPP
    Best: Ngata 14/44, 3.1 YPP, Lewis 19/73, 3.8 YPP
    Worst: No players with 12+ plays were worse than 5.5 YPP

    By number of Pass Rushers:
    3 or fewer: None, for the first time this season
    4: 11/50, 4.5 YPP, 1 Sack, 2 TO
    5: 11/71, 6.5 YPP, 1 TO
    6: 3/6, 2.0 YPP,
    7: 1/0, 0.0

    By number of Defensive Backs:
    3: 8/20, 2.5 YPPA
    4: 19/87, 4.6 YPPA
    5: 24/128 yards, 5.3 YPPA, 1 Sack, 4 TO
    6: 2/12 yards, 6.0 YPPA
    7: None

    Individual Notes:
    • The Ravens played a very heavy team, daring Jacksonville to run into 3-DB sets 8 times. That’s something the Ravens have done occasionally in the past with their most effective use coming in the 2006 week 4 win vs. SD. On Sunday they lined up in what amounts to a 5-3 (Suggs plus 4 pure linemen plus Johnson, Lewis, Scott). Walker remained in as the only CB as Rolle was removed for these 8 plays. The Jags ran 5 times for 11 yards and passed 3 times, completing just 1 for 9 yards.
    • Walker replaced the injured Washington as a starter at corner. He played reasonably well, but is still playing the man primarily as best can be evidenced by Garrard’s long incomplete to Northcutt (Q1, 5:17). Rolle was replaced by Oglesby for most of the final drive and was able to get a mild rest with just 39 plays and few hits (2 tackles).
    • Ngata had a good game but was called for another personal foul. Walker’s antics along the Jags sideline after the above incomplete to Northcutt were also worthy of a taunting penalty. I’m also a little bothered by how the game ended. The run by Parmele was fine, but the pass to Jones was over the top. Landri’s crushing tackle of Parmele on the season’s final play was a good indication of how the Jags felt about it.
    • Is Reed the DPOY? There are at least 5 players that deserve serious consideration, Ware, Harrison, Polamalu, Haynesworth, and Reed. It’s always easiest to start by comparing the like players:
    • Haynesworth has been the man in the middle of a very fine defense. The 8.5 sacks and 3 FF’s are very unusual numbers for a DT. It’s difficult to compare him to the others, because much of his value is in the doubles he creates and opportunities for other linemen and LBs, but I think he benefited from the Titans’ great start and the front-loading of statistics with 6 sacks in his first 6 games. We’ve been talking about Haynesworth as the likely DPOY for so long, he’s almost passed out of vogue.
    • The Ware/Harrison comparison is very close. Ware had 4 more sacks, but Harrison had a pick and 1 more FF to lead the league with 7. Harrison had a few more tackles, but Ware had more solos. I’d call that as close to a dead heat as you can get. Harrison was huge in the first game with the Ravens, which gave the Steelers the huge early season edge they would never relinquish. I would neither credit nor charge Harrison for sitting out the finale, which leaves me giving the edge to Harrison by a hair.
    • The Reed/Polamalu comparison is more difficult. Early in the year, there were folks in the media saying Ed’s playing hurt was hurting the Ravens, and they might have been right. Polamalu had many more tackles (73 to 41) as Reed was relegated to a role as a centerfielder while dealing with his nerve injury. However, Reed wins all the turnover categories (INT’s 9-7, 1 FF, 2 FRs to no fumble stats for Troy, 3-0 in return TDs, 264 INT return yards to 59). Troy had 1 more PD (17-16) and Ed had a sack (1-0). There is a little more bold relief when you see when Reed had his big games:
    • He had the oft-seen “down the tunnel” INT to put away the Cleveland game in week 3 when Cleveland was still a significant divisional rival.
    • He then went virtually silent for 8 weeks, accumulating no picks and only 3 PDs/18 tackles. The Ravens went 4-3, including both of their embarrassing losses.
    • For the Ravens most impressive win of the season, the 36-7 throttling of the Eagles on 11/23, Reed reemerged with one of the best defensive games of the season registering 4 PDs, 2 INTs, 150 INT return yards, including the 107-yard TD.
    • He went silent again the next week as the Ravens rolled to a 34-3 win over the Bengals.
    • The Ravens then returned home to face the Skins in a game that would greatly improve their playoff chances. 2 more INTs, a dogged FF/FR/TD return, 2 PDs, and 3 tackles later he had another of the finest defensive games of the year in the NFL.
    • He registered a season-high 8 tackles, including a sack in the heart-breaking loss to the Steelers.
    • The Ravens needed wins in both the Cowboy’s stadium finale and home against Jax to make the playoffs. Reed responded with nearly identical 2 INT, 2 PD games.
    • Polamalu spread his 7 picks over 7 games, but his best game was probably the 33-10 win at NE when he had an INT, 4 PDs, and 5 tackles. Take a look at the game logs on and you’ll see Polamalu has been a consistent and terrific tackler.
    • Troy’s a great player, but Reed’s last 6 weeks have been among the greatest ever recorded by a defensive player in the long history of the National Football League. During that time he’s had 18 tackles, 1 sack, 10 PDs, 8 INTs for 232 yards, 1 FF, 2 FRs, and 2 TDs.
    • Anyway, my 1 through 5 ballot for DPOY goes Reed, Harrison, Ware, Haynesworth, Polamalu
    • While driving to Sunday’s game, someone on the Ravens pre-game show opined that Sam Koch was the Ravens team MVP. Sam’s a valuable asset, but frankly, awarding the MVP to him is like owning a pastry shop with a world-class chef and designating the flour delivery guy as your MVP (“OK, we’ve got a great cook, if we can just get those flour deliveries on time, our pastries would sell like hot cakes!”).
    • If it was Ray’s final home game as a Raven, he certainly made the most of it. He danced a little longer, led the team with 8 tackles, pounced on the football on 4 separate occasions (2 of which were actually ruled fumble recoveries) and forced another fumble. He’s played very well this year and independent of the leadership element, he’s deserving of a long-term contract somewhere. I hope it’s here, and I’d love to see a deal that extends his relationship with the Ravens into retirement in some capacity. How great would it be if he were a coach whose role was to work 1-on-1 or in a small group helping young players develop a work ethic and teach them to study opposing offenses on film?
    • The Ravens 3 biggest defensive plays:
    • Reed’s 1st INT (Q2, 2:14)—On 3rd and 9, with the ball at the Ravens’ 19 and the game still 17-7, Reed cut in front of Williams for the pick at the 15. With a lateral to Ngata, the ball was returned to the 29 and the Ravens would drive 71 yards to all but ice the game at 24-7. The Jags came out of the locker room beaten, uninspired, and contemplating off-season activities.
    • Garrard’s TD pass to Pearman (Q1, 0:55). Hey, this is a football game here, not a Wild Card award ceremony! The Ravens would immediately drive 78 yards on 10 plays to answer and never looked back.
    • Scott’s FF, Lewis FR (Q4, 5:26). With Jets and Patriots fans screaming at both of their Sunday ticket TV’s, the Jaguars ran for the 3rd time on a 5-play drive. Scott dislodged the ball, Lewis had his 2nd FR of the game, Patriots fans turned off the Ravens game, and Jets fans turned off both.

  2. #2

    Re: 6 Weeks to Remember

    I beleive that in E. Reed and R. Lewis, we have perhaps the two biggest playmakers to ever play their positions.

    I know I'm a Ravens fan and may be prone to bias, but it's simply ridiculous how often those two are making plays to turn the game in favor of the Ravens.

  3. #3

    Re: 6 Weeks to Remember

    Not happening. If you not have seen this game, and someone had said to you Ravens got two FRs.. You would have responded: Ray got the one! And same with the interceptions: Ed got one!

    But oh no this is Ed and Ray, they are greedyl, they take them all.

    And btw that Skins game. I have never ever seen a defender, finish one game all by him self after only five minutes of effective gametime... Skins was done and we all knew it.

    Go Ravens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Eastern Shore

    Re: 6 Weeks to Remember

    they asked one of the NFL Network talking heads (Rod Woodson?) to choose between Reed and Palmlulu and he picked Ed; 'he finds the end zone.'
    way to crunch them numbas Study!!! I like to troll the competitions' boards and I haven't seen ANY other team with this sort of work. (I think some NFL teams don't do this themselves, let alone fans!)
    that last drive was odd. reminded me of the last day of school, when they couldn't controlt he students but so much so we'd kick back a bit. nice reward for TSmith and Parmalee to get some work, and who knows when we'll need them!
    "Nothing stops these Baltimore Ravens. Beat them, injure them, shove them to the bottom of the standings, drag them into a hostile environment and mount a big lead, and they just keep trudging forward like nothing fazes them." (Bleacher Report)


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