Sacrificing Receivers

The Bears rushed 5+ on 28 of 42 plays (67%) resulting in a pass or sack.

Huntley had ample time and space (ATS) on 12 of 42 drop backs (29%), a typical rate.  When Huntley had ATS, he was 9/12 for 67 yards (5.6 YPP), including 1 interception.  That’s quite poor, but without ATS, he was 17/24 for 109 net yards (3.6 YPP), including 6 sacks for -43.

The Ravens again used eligible receivers to help their tackles, including 18 set blockers and 10 chip blockers (0.67 per play). 

Using No Huddle

Prior to their final possession, the Ravens ran as single no-huddle play (Q2, 0:25).  To set the stage:

  • (Q2, 0:46): On 3rd and 10, Duvernay took a pass short left and ran OOB for a gain of 9 which was reviewed and eventually upheld by the replay official to set up 4th and 1.
  • (Q2, 0:42): After the delay, on 4th and 1 the Ravens inserted a heavy personnel group with Freeman, Ricard,Boyle, Tomlinson, and Watkins as the 5 skill players.  Huntley ran QB power for an 8-yard conversion but was tackled in bounds.
  • (Q2, 0:25): With the clock running, the Ravens quickly swapped back to a passing group of skill players (Freeman, Andrews, Duvernay, Watkins, and Bateman).  The Bears sent in a large shift of personnel at a more leisurely pace, believing as I (and Tony Romo) did that the officials would hold the play for Chicago to react with their substitution.  The ball was snapped and Huntley immediately threw to Bateman on the far right (away from the Chicago bench) uncovered for a gain of 15.

Gene Steratore explained how such substitutions did not stop the action in the last 2 minutes and it became apparent that the Ravens had used their knowledge of the rules effectively against an unprepared opponent.

Why did I include (Q2, 0:46) above?  I think the Ravens were able to run the play because of the time necessary for the official review of the spot on Duvernay’s catch and run.  They called a 2-play sequence with 2 very different personnel groups, expecting the Bears to be unprepared and fail to substitute properly. 

What made the situation both more ironic and less forgivable was the fact Chicago had all 3 timeouts remaining.  They could have called one to get set properly before Huntley’s snap.  In the second half the Bears then managed to waste all 3 timeouts, each with the clock stopped (after incomplete, incomplete, TD).

Rumors have spread since Sunday that Matt Nagy will coach his last game on Thanksgiving.  I don’t think he’ll be able to stop the clock on that decision.

Kudos to Greg Roman for exploiting an unprepared team in a key moment.

Individual Scoring

The Ravens ran 76 scored snaps (excludes accepted penalties which result in no play, kneels, spikes, and special teams plays that result in a run or pass).

Villanueva:  Alejandro struggled against LB Robert Quinn.  He surrendered portions of 3 sacks (Q1, 11:52, beaten outside by Quinn for flush; Q3, 5:06, beaten outside by Quinn for 2/3 charge; Q3, 0:02, beaten outside by LB Ledarius Mack shared with Mekari). He gave up a full QH when beaten outside by Quinn to flush Huntley right (Q4, 0:33).  The holding flag against him (Q4, 0:35) was borderline.  He missed 6 blocks, of which 4 were losses at the LoS.  He made 2 blocks in level 2 and delivered 2 pancakes.  He was credited with success on both pulls (selling the counter). He had 2 highlights, the more important of which was a combination on blocked DL Mario Edwards then S DeAndre Houston-Carson in level 2 to lead Freeman’s game-winning touchdown (Q4, 0:25). 

Scoring:  76 plays, 64 blocks, 6 missed, 1.5 pressures, 1 QH, 1.5 (1/3 + 2/3 + ½) sacks, 1 offensive holding, 43 points (.57 per play).  That’s a D with adjustment.

Powers:  Ben overcame a tough start to play a solid game.  He was responsible for 1/3 of a sack by LB Quinn when he gave ground to DT Bilal Nichols to compress the pocket (Q1, 11:52).  On the next play from scrimmage (Q1, 5:59) he was bulled by Nichols for a pressure shared with Villanueva. Those were his only 2 negative plays. He missed 8 blocks 5 of which were losses at the LoS. He connected on 7 of 8 pulls and delivered 2 pancakes. He made 4 blocks in level 2. His highlight was pinballing ILB Roquan Smith three times in L2 on Freeman’s RR6 (Q4, 5:48).

Scoring: 76 plays, 66 blocks, 8 missed, 1/2 pressure, 1/3 sack, 63 points (.83 per play).  That’s a B after adjustment. 

Bozeman:  Bradley had a solid, if unspectacular, game.  He received a 1/3 share of the sack by LB Quinn and DT Eddie Goldman shared with Villanueva (Q3, 5:06). He also surrendered 2 pressures, (Q2, 1:07, bulled by DT Angelo Blackson; Q3, 9:59, bulled by Blackson). He missed 7 blocks 4 of which was losses at the LoS.  He had 4 blocks in level 2, but did not deliver a pancake, and made his only pull. He had 2 highlight combination blocks (Q2, 3:01; Q3, 7:17). 

Scoring:  76 plays, 66 blocks, 7 missed, 2 pressures, 1/3 sack, 60 points (.79 per play).  That’s a C with adjustment

Bozeman continues to have issues with snap accuracy and velocity which was not reflected in this score.  He has often been wild low the last few games.  

Zeitler:  Kevin had his 7th consecutive game of at least a B despite a drive-stalling holding flag. He received a ½ charge for penetration when beaten inside by DT Blackson on Freeman’s RM-3 (Q1, 5:22).  The holding flag was also on Blackson, who had beaten him on a swim inside and was his only other negative charge (Q3, 0:53).  He missed 4 blocks, only one of which was a loss at the LoS.  He made 9 blocks in level 2 and delivered 2 pancakes. He connected on 3 of his 4 pulls.  He had 3 highlights the most impressive of which was a combination on DT Goldman then LB Alec Ogletree who he pancaked in L2 (Q3, 10:50).

Scoring:  76 plays, 71 blocks, 4 missed, ½ penetration, 1 offensive holding, 64 points (.84 per play).  That’s a B with or without adjustment.

Mekari:  Patrick was party to 2 sacks (Q1, 11:52, beaten outside by LB Gibson for flush for 1/3 share; Q3, 0:02, beaten outside by LB Gibson). He surrendered 5 full pressures to 3 different players (Q2, 7:49; Q2, 0:55; Q2, 0:15; Q3, 11:22; and Q3, 9:02). He missed 6 blocks, 4 of which were losses at the LoS.  He had 6 blocks in level 2 and delivered 3 pancakes. He made his only pull. His highlight was a combination on DT Blackson then ILB Smith in L2 (Q1, 13:43).

Scoring: 75 plays, 61 blocks, 6 missed, 1 penetration, 5 pressures, .83 (1/2 + 1/3) sacks, 44 points (.59 per play).  That’s a D with adjustment.

Phillips:  Tyre played 1 snap at right tackle and made his block.

If you’re interested in seeing scoring trends for the players this season, those charts will be posted in the Gallery section and updated weekly.