Ravens Close One Out in Cincinnati

The Ravens answered a big question about their own ability to close out games with Todd Monken’s offense.  Let’s review:

  • The Ravens outsnapped Cincinnati 44-17 in the first half
  • Nonetheless, a retracted block in the black flag kept the game at 13-10
  • In the second half, the Bengals stayed with the Ravens with 2 long TD drives and were in position to win had the Ravens been unable to run out the clock in their last possession
  • With 3:28 remaining, the Ravens needed 2 first downs to close it outs
  • They got both of them with running conversions on 3rd down
  • Each runner stayed in bounds despite 2 jet sweeps and a big hit on Jackson by the right sideline
  • They ran 5 jumbo or unbalanced line formations on those final 6 plays

In total, the Ravens had 4 rushing conversions on 3rd down in the final quarter, 3 by Gus Edwards and a 4th on a scramble by Jackson.

Ravens Off to Excellent Start in Key Metrics

Against the Bengals, the Ravens converted 26 of 31 first downs into a subsequent first down or TD (84%, excludes the end-of-game kneel) for a series success rate of 84%.

Through 2 games they have scored 49 points on 9 red-zone trips, 5.4 per play.  By comparison, the Chiefs led the NFL with 4.2 PPRZ in 2022.

Passing Game

Jackson was afforded ample time and space (ATS) on 13 of 33 (39%) drop backs resulting in a pass/sack.  With ATS, he was 10 of 13 for 147 yards (11.3 YPP).

He delivered the ball before pressure could develop (BOQ) 12 times (36%) with 9 complete for 49 yards (4.1 YPP).  He was pressured 8 times (24%), on which he completed 5 of 8 passes for 41 net yards (5.1 YPP).

By number of pass rushers:

3:  2 plays, 61 net yards, 30.5 YPP

4:  19 plays, 123 net yards, 6.5 YPP

5:  9 plays, 38 net yards, 4.2 YPP

6:  3 plays, 15 net yards, 5.0 YPP

7:  none

The Ravens needed to find a way to generate some clean pockets for Lamar this week and they did so with backups at both LT and C..

OL Scoring

The Ravens ran 69 scored snaps (excludes accepted penalties which result in no play, kneels, spikes, and special teams plays that result in a run or pass).

Mekari:  Patrick excelled in his first start of 2023.  He was party to 3 pressures (bulled by DE Hendrickson, full, Q1, 3:29; bulled by DE Hendrickson, half, Q2, 10:44; and tangled up with Justice Hill attempting to block S Dax Hill, half, Q2, 3:01).  Of his 4 missed blocks, only 1 was a loss at the LoS.  He had 4 blocks in level 2 and delivered 1 pancake.  He connected on 2 of 3 pulls.  He had 3 highlight combination blocks (Q2, 14:15; Q2, 11:49; Q4, 2:25). 

Scoring:  68 plays, 61 blocks, 4 missed, 2 (1 + 2 * ½) pressures, 57 points (.84 per play).  That’s an A after adjustment.

Simpson:  John barely made the game by Southwest flight after the birth of his child and played well.  He, Mustipher, and Zeitler shared a pressure when they were unable to negotiate the handoffs on a two-gap stunt by DE Murphy (Q1, 3:27).  He was flagged for offensive holding on DT Reader (Q2, 0:30) when he failed to release outside the frame.  His other flag, a false start, also stalled a drive (Q4, 9:36).  Of his 4 missed blocks, all were losses at the LoS and included three times as a pancakee.  He had 5 blocks in level 2 and delivered 1 pancake.  He connected on both of his pulls.  He had 2 highlight combination blocks plus a third highlight as a screen blocker (Q2, 3:01).

Scoring:  69 plays, 64 blocks, 4 missed, 1/3 pressure, 1 offensive holding, 1 false start, 54.3 points (.79 per play).  That’s a B- with adjustment.

Mustipher:  Sam turned in a solid performance in his first start.  He had a 1/3 share of the pressure mentioned above with Simpson and Zeitler (Q1, 3:27).  He was also flagged for holding DT Reader which negated Lamar’s 19-yard scramble and helped stall the Ravens last drive of the half (Q2, 0:23).  Of his 5 missed blocks only 1 was a loss at the LoS.  He connected on his only pull, which came on a pass play.  He had 2 blocks in level 2 but did not deliver a pancake.  His highlight was a combination on DT Tupou then SCB Hilton in level 2 to help lead Edwards RR17 (Q1, 11:08). 

Scoring: 69 plays, 62 blocks, 5 missed, 1/3 pressure, 1 offensive holding, 55.3 points (.80 per play).  That’s a C+ after adjustment.

Zeitler:  Kevin struggled as a pass blocker.  He was party to 4 pressures (bulled by DT Hill, full, Q1, 15:00; failed to negotiate DE Murphy 2-gap stunt, 1/3 share, Q1, 3:27; bulled by DT Tupou, half, Q2, 10:44; bulled by DT Hill, full, Q4, 14:06).  He surrendered a QH when bulled by Reader into the leg of Moses to trip him up allowing Hubbard’s QH (Q2, 1:15).  He was flagged for holding held DT Hill through a spin move (Q3, 0:49).  Of his 4 missed blocks, only 1 was a loss at the LoS.  He pulled successfully on 12 of 13 attempts.  He had 1 block in level 2 and 1 pancake.  He did not have a highlight.

Scoring:  69 plays, 60 blocks, 4 missed, 2.83 (2 + ½ + 1/3) pressures, 1 QH, 1 offensive holding, 45.3 points (.66 per play). That’s a D after adjustment.

Moses:  Morgan had an outstanding game after a difficult week one. He had no negative events.  Of his 4 missed blocks, 2 were losses at the LoS.  He had 3 blocks in level 2 and delivered 2 pancakes.  He received all 6 points on his pulls, including 3 courtesy points as the trailer.  His highlight was a combination block on DE Hubbard then ILB Pratt in level 2 (Q1, 14:26). 

Scoring:  69 plays, 65 blocks, 4 missed, 65 points (.94 per play).  That’s an A with or without adjustment.

Faalele:  Daniel replaced Mekari for 1 play and had 2 snaps as the 6th lineman, made all 3 blocks, including a highlight combination on the Ravens final first down.