Offensive Line Scoring vs. Browns 9/13/19
The Ravens afforded Jackson ample time and space (ATS) on just 4 of 27 drop backs (15%). That should have severely impeded the Ravens pass game, but Jackson masterfully negotiated the pocket to extend plays as needed and delivered a 152.1 passer rating.
That was the key statistic if you’re trying to understand how the Ravens could win a game 38-6 while losing the trench battle decisively on both sides of the football.
The Ravens ran 57 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 posted a decent game before leaving after the first drive of the second half with an ankle injury. He was beaten inside by the blitzing Sendejo for a half pressure shared with Skura (Q2, 3:43). I charged him with 1/3 of the QH (Q1, 4:49) when he picked up Clayborn’s stunt deep and was bulled into Jackson, flushing him right from the pocket where he was knocked down by Garrett. Those were his only negative plays. He missed 6 blocks, of which 5 were losses at the LoS (3 to Olivier Vernon). He made 1 block in level 2, but did not have a pancake. He was not assigned to pull. His highlight was a combination block on Richardson then Goodson (Q1, 9:46).
Scoring: 35 plays, 27 blocks, 6 missed, 1/2 pressure, 1/3 QH, 25 points (.71 per play). That’s a C with or without adjustment.
Bozeman: Bradley was the Ravens most effective lineman. He did not have a negative pressure event or penetration on a run play. Of his 5 misses, 3 were losses at the LoS and the others were a miss in level 2 and a pull where he was unable to find a block. While level 2 blocks and pulls can do much to extend runs, those losses rarely have consequences that result in negative plays. He had 7 blocks in level 2 and pulled successfully on 6 of 7 assignments, but did not have a pancake. His highlight was a combination block on Ogunjobi then Goodson on the 15-yard run/fumble by Jackson (Q1, 9:10).
Scoring: 57 plays, 52 blocks, 5 missed, 52 points (.91 per play). That’s an A before adjustment.
Skura: Matt struggled in his first game back. His failed cut block allowed Larry Ogunjobi to crawl over him and force Ricard’s fumble (Q2, 15:00). He previously was beaten left by Ogunjobi (Q1, 9:46) who took down Dobbins for a 2-yard loss. He was bulled/pancaked by Vincent Taylor for a pressure (Q2, 0:34) and surrendered another full pressure to Ogunjobi (Q3, 3:01) when beaten right. Disturbing was the fact he had no pulls or level 2 blocks (which may have been a product of scheme/defensive front). Coming off the knee injury, it would have been nice to answer some of the mobility concerns. He did not have a pancake or highlight.
Scoring: 49 plays, 37 blocks, 6 missed, 2 penetrations, 3 pressures (2 + 2*1/2), 27 points (.55 per play). That’s an F after adjustment.
The Ravens can’t afford to grade Matt on the curve. He’s a player with a great work ethic and the fact he’s rehabbed so far, so fast, is remarkable. But the Ravens face 2 of their most important games of the year the next 2 weeks and need to field the best OL possible. The permissive IR rules (any player may be put on IR for as little as 3 weeks with an unlimited number of players allowed to return) are an option to be considered if the coaches do not believe he’s quite ready physically.
Phillips: Tyre delivered a solid outing which gives hope for positive development as the season progresses. I’ll start with the bad news. He was party to 5 separate pressure events, including a full charge when bulled by Sheldon Richardson (Q2, 0:15). That followed 2 consecutive half pressures surrendered to Richardson (beginning Q2, 0:29, both shared with Brown). On the plus side of the ledger, he made 3 of his 4 blocks in level 2 and hit on all 7 of his pulls. Since mobility was a question as a converted college tackle, it’s nice to see him perform well in terms of guard mobility, even for 1 game. Of 3 missed blocks (the fewest among the starters), 2 were losses at the LoS. His highlight was a well-maintained block on Ogunjobi where he pushed the Browns star 8 yards into level 2.
Scoring: 55 plays, 46 blocks, 3 missed, 1/2 penetration, 2.5 pressures (1 + 3 x 1/2), 1/3 QH, 39 points (.71 per play). That’s a C with adjustment.
There is a lot to build on here. Since the Ravens did not run as much read option (preferring to attack the Browns through the air while the game was close), he was not presented with as many opportunities as he will to use his length to open the front gate for the Ravens (primarily right-handed) power run schemes. He can also work on pad level to improve his anchor inside vs bigger interior rushers (length/punch was often enough versus smaller college edge rushers). I expect more positive than negative surprises from Phillips for the remainder of 2020.
Brown: Zeus had his hands full with Myles Garrett He was beaten for 2 full pressures by Garrett (Q2, 0:41; Q3, 14:18). I also charged him for one third of the sack for the front-side pocket compression (Q3, 14:14). The sack came from SCB Tavierre Thomas who slid inside through the gaping right B gap created by Garrett’s bull of Brown. Only 3 of his 8 missed blocks were losses at the LoS, with the others a case of not finding a level-2 or zone block. He had 2 blocks in level 2, but did not have a pancake or highlight. He was not assigned to pull.
Scoring: 57 plays, 41 blocks, 8 missed, 1/2 penetration, 3.5 (2 + 3 x ½) pressures, 1/3 QH, 1/3 sack, 29 points (.51 per play). That’s a D- with adjustment.
Zeus will be back both against less challenging opponents and when the Ravens return to their right-handed zone reads which simplify his role significantly. In the meantime, it’s comforting that the 6 plays on which he had a share of a pressure or QH went for 3 incompletes and gains of 20, 16, and 11.
Fluker: DJ entered at LT early in the 2nd half and the Ravens offense thereafter was limited. He last played RT in 2016 when he finished a game in week 4 due to injury. His last play at LT came in his 2013 rookie year with San Diego when he replaced King Dunlap for several games. Tangentially, King Dunlap, now 35 and out of the NFL for 3 full seasons, might be a player worth checking in on to see if he’s still in playing shape given what I expect to be significantly thinned street-level tackle ranks due to COVID. Fluker was beaten outside by Clayborn for a full sack (Q4, 9:07) on a speed rush. He missed 2 blocks, 1 of which was a loss at the LoS. He did not have a block in level 2, and delivered 1 pancake on his only pull. That pancake of Goodson led Dobbins’ 2nd TD run and was also his highlight.
Scoring: 22 plays, 18 blocks, 2 missed, 1 pressure, 1 sack, 10 points (.45 per play). That’s an F after adjustment.
Mekari: Patrick played the final 8 snaps in relief of Skura and surrendered a half penetration when backed up then shed by Vincent Taylor (Q4, 2:42). Scoring: 8 plays, 6 blocks, 1 missed, ½ penetration, 5 points (.63 per play). He gets no grade because he’s below the 20-snap minimum.
Powers: Ben played the final 2 snaps in relief of Phillips and made both blocks.
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.
Thanks for the write-up! Hopefully the O-line can step up their game and come close to the level you’re at when you do your analysis!
Thanks for reading Tom.
For you and others who prefer the articles, would you be more inclined to listen to a much shorter podcast that quickly detailed OL scoring or other numeric underpinnings of a Ravens game/season/next opponent?
Hi Ken! It’s very thoughtful of you to try to shorten the podcast to decrease the time burden on listeners. For me though, it’s more about the visual aspect of an article that allows me to follow and digest the information easier. Either way, all your hard work is much appreciated!
Always love your work, Ken. One thing: what’s the big difference between your grades and PFF’s grades on Phillips? You have him as playing average and they had him as an honorable mention on their “Worst of Week One” team. Does it have anything to do with them possibly weighting pass blocking more heavily than you do?
That’s a good question. Because I score partial events, I ascribe more counting events to linemen. This week, for example, 1.33/1/10.5 Sacks/QH/Pressures to the OL. PFF had it as 1/0/7. So ascribing partial events, I’m hitting Phillips and others for more counting events. Beyond that, I use a 3-second standard for pass protection instead of PFF’s 2.5, which creates a few more. That said, PFF will have other negative charges in their underlying -2 to +2 scoring they don’t share on a play-by-play basis. They must have a significant number of those for Phillips to score so low. In terms of how we score the run game, there are other methodology differences where I believe PFF pyramids nontransparent differences and undervalues things like picking up the back end of what is initially a double team. That’s a long discussion.
In the end, everything I do is a deduction from 1, which makes the scoring transparent (not a set of offsets of unknown size) and something readers can reverse engineer. The only positive I ever ascribe is the adjustment [0, .1], for which I give reasoning in the article and identify explicitly in the charts.
In terms of how I view PFF, it’s a different system, but still valuable to me in terms of relativizing all linemen in the league. It’s also a different system, which is good, because we’re not simply repeating the same method, but using different methods to score the same things. When evaluating 2 or more models of anything, the ideal way to look at it is to pick out the good things about each and those often help understand the observations or perhaps even advance the model in a new way. To PFF’s credit, they have never bristled at methodology questions or been unwilling to compare underlying individual pressure events with me if I ask about a big difference.
My understanding of the way they score pressure events (and my understanding is limited to listening to their podcast) is that they ascribe full pressures and sacks to every player involved in an event. If Chuck Clark and Jaylon Ferguson split a sack, they credit each player with a full sack, even though the NFL will give each player a half sack. So the 2.5/3 second difference must have caused the big difference in your pressure events, unless they score O-Line pressure differently.
Overall, I like your system, and it is definitely easier to understand. Of course, PFF have the difficult task of scoring O-Lineman in a way that they can be put on the same scale as literally every player in the NFL.
Glad to see your usual excellent work continue, Ken. Of all the published articles related to the Ravens week to week, yours is the most insightful and what I look forward to most. Much respect!
Thanks for reading. It’s always nice to hear folks enjoy the work.
As always, I am looking for folks with an observation or passion about a Ravens topic to do a Filmstudy Short. Please contact me if you have a focused topic on which we can drill drown in a 15-20 minute podcast.
I commend you for the great analysis of the O-line. It confirms my greatest concern heading into the season, i.e. whether the O-line would be anywhere close to as good as last year. Obviously, that concern was well founded. It makes Lamar’s performance even more impressive than the normal stats. It also explains why the run game wasn’t dominant. Let’s hope Stanley’s injury isn’t a problem and that Skura improves rapidly. Otherwise they may have serious problems the next few very important games.
Btw, I am also one of your readers who prefer the written analysis over a podcast. However, it might be worth trying a much shorter version as you mentioned in an earlier comment.
Even with phillips playing well, the loss of Yanda is going to have long-running ramifications on the whole right side of the line.
Spot on analysis of the game. The Ravens seemed to accept that the Brown’s defensive front was going to be a tough unit and that the Browns defensive focus would be to take a way the run. Watching the attack on their secondary which is far from an elite unit at this point, produced a really exciting game. Cleveland is defensively similar to the Washington Football Team with a very talented defensive front and a middle of the road secondary. Washington does enough to win against a troubled Eagle’s passing offense but Cleveland gets badly beat by the Ravens passing offense in spite of controlling the line of scrimmage.
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