Injuries and Offensive Identity

The injury to Nick Boyle changes much of what the Ravens can expect to do well as an offense. 

The dual threat he has provided as a blocker and play-action receiver helped to drive the Ravens run game and forced opposing linebackers to make choices they regretted in the passing game.

The Ravens may look very different in terms of the starting OL come Sunday (see below), but the loss of Boyle may well cost them their offensive identity.

Aggregate OL Results

The Ravens provided Jackson Ample Time and Space (ATS) on 14 of 35 drop backs (40%).  That’s above average, but the Patriots did not use numbers to get pressure.  By number, the Patriots rushed:

3: 8 times

4: 25 times

5: 2 times

Summarizing the line performance:

  • They had responsibility for the 1 sack
  • They did not allow any other QHs
  • They allowed 9.5 pressures
  • They allowed 1.5 penetrations (run play for loss) allowed
  • They had 3 penalties (2 holding, false start)

Individual Scoring

The Ravens ran 64 scored snaps (excludes accepted penalties which result in no play, kneels, spikes, and special teams plays that result in a run or pass).

Brown:  Orlando took a step back after 2 excellent games at LT.  After extending his streak without allowing a pass rush event of any sort to 148 snaps at LT, he was party to 5 in his last 37 snaps at New England, all by Chase Winovich.  He was beaten outside by Winovich to phonebooth the pocket on Uche’s sack (Q2, 1:02).  He was beaten 2 other times by Winovich for full pressures (Q3, 4:26; Q4, 0:30) and twice more for half shares of pressures (Q3, 6:24; Q4, 12:29).  He had a season-high 10 missed blocks, 3 of which were losses at the LoS.  He also failed to contribute a block on the back side of zone plays on 3 occasions.  That can be difficult for large tackles and the Ravens may be asking Zeus not to cut block given their tenuous injury situation at tackle.  He made 6 blocks in level 2 and delivered 5 pancakes (a season high for any lineman).  He executed his fake or found a block on all 3 pulling assignments.  He did not have a highlight.

Scoring:  64 plays, 49 blocks, 10 missed, 3 (2 + 2 x 1/2) pressures, 1/3 sack, 41 points (.64 per play).  That’s a D+ with adjustment.

Bozeman:  Bradley had a solid game downgraded by a late holding penalty.  He was party to Uche’s sack (Q2, 1:02, see above) and allowed 1 full pressure by bull rush to Uche (Q2, 0:20).  Of 2 missed blocks, 1 was a loss at the LoS.  He had 1 block in level 2, 4 pancakes, and connected on all 5 pulling assignments.  His highlight was a violent looking-for-work pancake of DT Byron Cowart on Jackson’s 1-yard scramble (Q1, 5:43).  Cowart got up, patted Bozeman on the butt and got back in position for the next play.  Respect.

Scoring:  64 plays, 57 blocks, 2 missed, 1/2 penetration, 2 (1 + 2 x 1/2) pressures, 1/3 sack, 1 offensive holding, 44 points (.69 per play).  That’s a D with or without adjustment.

Skura:  Matt had a fine game as a blocker marred by several bad snaps which are not reflected in his grade.  He was beaten across his face by DT Carl Davis who took down Ingram for a loss of 1 (Q1, 14:21) for his only negative score.  He missed 2 blocks, 1 of which was a loss at the LoS.  He made 4 (of 5) blocks in level 2, delivered 1 pancake, and connected on both pulls.  He had highlight combination blocks on consecutive plays (beginning Q1, 7:14).

Scoring: 64 plays, 61 blocks, 2 missed, 1 penetration, 59 points (.92 per play).  That’s an A- without adjustment.  I eliminated his adjustment for his snap difficulties, but that falls far short of their impact on the game.  Had I treated the 2 worst snaps as sacks, his grade would have dropped to a D-, but that’s still fails to reflect the impact on timing of the snaps Jackson collected.  The Ravens will again have to decide this week if they need a new center, but Skura used a glove rather than his trademark joint-by-joint tape job, which indicates to me injury remains a factor as opposed to just the wet ball.  It’s possible a shift is coming at center this week, but I don’t expect we’ll know until the warmups on Sunday.

Mekari:  Patrick played his best game as a professional.  He had a near-perfect first half with 33 of 34 blocks made at RG.  His only miss was a failure to find a block in level 2.  He replaced DJ Fluker at RT to begin the second half and continued to play well.  He was bulled by Uche (Q3, 6:04) for a pressure.  That was his only negative event at RT.  Combining play at both positions, he had 4 blocks in level 2, delivered 3 pancakes, and connected on both pulls.  He had 2 highlight combination blocks in the first half.  He had another highlight pancake of LB Terez Hall on a pull (Q3, 1:42) after intermission.

Scoring (RG):  34 plays, 33 blocks, 1 missed, 33 points (.97 per play). That’s an A+ with adjustment, the first earned by a Ravens lineman this season.

Scoring (RT):  30 plays, 27 blocks, 2 missed, 1 pressure, 25 points (.83 per play). That’s a B+ after adjustment.

Fluker:  DJ had a difficult game at RT and was benched at the half.  He was beaten inside by Uche for a 1/3 share of his sack (Q2, 1:02) and was beaten outside by Winovich to flush Jackson 2 plays later (Q2, 0:37).  Winovich beat him inside to end the previous drive (Q2, 5:41) when he was flagged for holding (declined).  He appeared to hold on at least 1 other play (e.g. Q2, 11:46) that was not flagged.  He was also penalized for a false start.  He missed 2 blocks, 1 of which was a loss at the LoS.  He made 1 block in level 2 and had 2 pancakes.  I did not score him for a highlight.

Scoring:  34 plays, 29 blocks, 2 missed, 1 pressure, 1/3 sack, 1 offensive holding, 1 false start, 16 points (.47 per play).  That’s an F with or without adjustment.  The relative grades of Mekari and Fluker would seem to be a clear indication Patrick will start at RT vs Tennessee, but I’m not convinced that’s decided at this point (See below).

Powers:  Ben had 32 snaps at RG and had his first grade of the year (requires 20 snap minimum).  He was bulled by ex-Raven Carl Davis for a pressure (Q4, 5:19).  I charged him with a second pressure that was close, but appeared to flush Jackson on the game’s final play (Q4, 0:08).  On a positive note, he did not lose his feet or his relative position to the QB on either play.  He did not miss a block, had 2 blocks in level 2, and delivered 1 pancake.

Scoring:  32 plays, 30 blocks, 0 missed, 2 pressures, 26 points (.81 per play).  That’s a B after adjustment.  He’s made a case for a starting role.

What will the starting OL be vs Tennessee?  I look at this as a game of musical chairs with 6 players vying for 5 seats with some interesting subplots.  To give my shot at handicapping, I estimate the chances of starting Sunday are:

  • Brown 100%
  • Bozeman 100% (could be LG or C)
  • Skura 70% (could be C, LG, or RG)
  • Mekari 100% (could be C, RG, or RT)
  • Fluker: 50%
  • Powers: 70% (could be LG or RG)
  • Bredeson or Colon-Castillo: 10% (done for continuity reasons at C)

It’s possible the Ravens will have a different starter from the Steelers game 3 weeks ago at each of the 5 OL positions.  

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.