Ravens OL gets Jumboed

The Steelers started the game with a jumbo formation consisting of 4 DL, 2 OLB, 2 ILB, and 3 DBs and used it for 28 of 49 (57%) of the meaningful snaps.

To explain further, this is a formation normally employed in goal line and other short-yardage situations and the Steelers regularly deployed it against the Huntley-led Ravens and 22 personnel, essentially daring them to throw.

Amazingly, the Ravens still ran the ball for 4.3 YPC, but they were only able to generate 2 first downs (both by pass) in the final 24:31, including a stretch where they were outsnapped 41-15 on a 8-drive stretch (4 for each team) culminating with Huntley’s interception.

I have been watching the NFL for 50 years and this is the most extreme example I can recall of a defense preventively defending against the run.

Passing Game

Huntley was afforded ample time and space (ATS) on 9 of 21 (43%) drop backs resulting in a pass/sack.  With ATS, he was for 8 of 9 for 86 yards (9.6 YPP), 1 TD, 1 INT.

He delivered the ball before pressure could develop (BOQ) 5 times (24%) with 4 complete for 28 yards (5.6 YPP).  He was pressured 7 times (33%), on which he completed 2 of 6 passes for 6 net yards (0.9 YPP) including 1 sack.

By number of pass rushers:

3: none

4: 10 plays, 68 net yards, 6.8 YPP, 1 TD, 1 INT

5:  8 plays, 40 net yards, 5.0 YPP

6+:  3 plays, 12 net yards, 4.0 YPP

While the defense had trouble stopping the Steelers run game, the blame for this loss goes primarily to the offense for doing nothing to help put it away in the second half.

OL Scoring

The Ravens ran 49 scored snaps (excludes accepted penalties which result in no play, kneels, spikes, and special teams plays that result in a run or pass).

Stanley:  Ronnie had a solid game as a pass blocker but struggled with run blocks.  He was bulled by OLB Highsmith for a pressure (Q2, 14:17).  Huntley also ran him out of a pressure (Q1, 4:58).  I charged him with 1/2 penetration on Dobbins RM-2 (Q4, 9:34) when shed by DT Heyward.  Of his 7 missed blocks, 5 were losses at the LoS.  He pulled successfully on 1 of 3 assignments. He had 3 blocks in level 2 but did not have a pancake nor highlight. 

Scoring:  49 plays, 40 blocks, 7 missed, 1/2 penetration, 1 pressure, 37 points (.76 per play).  That’s a B- with adjustment.

Powers:  Ben continued his fine season.  His only negative event was a pressure when bulled by DT Heyward (Q1, 6:20).  Of his 5 missed blocks, only 1 was a loss at the LoS.  He did not have a block in level 2 but delivered 3 pancakes.  He pulled successfully on only 3 of 7 attempts.  His highlight was a double pancake of DE Alualu and ILB Robinson (Q1, 2:29).

Scoring:  49 plays, 43 blocks, 5 missed, 1 pressure, 41 points (.84 per play).  That’s an B with or without adjustment.

Linderbaum:  Tyler had his worst game of the season.  He was party to 2 pressures (beaten left by NT Adams and got away with holding, full, Q2, 0:38; shed by DT Heyward, 1/3, Q4, 0:56).  He was flagged for holding NT Adams (Q4, 0:52) and also was guilty of a snap infraction.  Of his 8 missed blocks all were losses at the LoS.  He did not pull which was a function of the Steelers jumbo sets (all 19 inside pulls were from guards).  He had 1 block in level 2 and delivered 2 pancakes.  His 2 highlights included an 8-yard push of NT Adams (Q2, 0:22). 

Scoring: 49 plays, 39 blocks, 8 missed, 1.33 pressures, 1 false start, 1 offensive holding, 27.33 points (.56 per play).  That’s an F even after adjustment.

Tyler was perhaps the most exposed by the Steelers jumbo packages which forced many more 1-on-1 blocking assignments.. 

Zeitler:  Kevin delivered a top-shelf game.  His only negative event was when he was bulled by DT Ogunjobi, 1/3 share, (Q4, 0:56).  Of his 4 missed blocks, only 1 was a loss at the LoS.  He connected on 9 of his 12 pulls.  He had 1 block in level 2 and 1 pancake.  He had 2 highlights the more impressive of which was a pickup of the stunting Watt who he then pushed into an otherwise unblocked Highsmith (Q2, 10:10) for one of the Ravens most impressive highlights of the season.

Scoring:  49 plays, 44 blocks, 4 missed, 1/3 pressure, 43.33 points (.88 per play). That’s an A after adjustment.

Moses:  Morgan struggled against Watt. He was beaten for a sack (Q3, 2:13).  He was flagged for holding the stunting DT Ogunjobi (Q3, 11:24).  Huntley ran him out of 1 pressure (Q3, 10:14).  Of his 8 missed blocks 4 were losses at the LoS.  He had 1 block in level 2 but no pancakes or highlights.  He was successful on 3 of 5 pulls. 

Scoring:  36 plays, 27 blocks, 8 missed, 1 sack, 1 offensive holding, 15 points (.42 per play).  That’s an F.

Mekari:  Patrick replaced Moses for 14 plays and made 11 blocks.  He was party to a pressure when he failed to pick up Watt, 1/3 share, (Q4, 0:56).  I did not grade him since he was shy of the 20-snap minimum.