Defensive Notes vs. Seahawks 11/13/11

Just how bad was the special-teams effort Sunday?


·         Reed’s kick-off-return fumbles gave Seattle fields of 18 and 19 yards to navigate

·         Reed was called for unsportsmanlike conduct (Q2, 5:39) following a kick return to the 20.  The Ravens would start at the 10, run 3 plays for 4 yards, then Koch’s 28-yard punt would give Seattle the ball at the Ravens 42.

·         Cundiff’s first missed field goal gave the Seahawks the ball at the 40 from where they scored their only TD

·         Cundiff missed a 2nd opportunity, this from 52 yards (Q2, 0:07) which left the score 19-7 at the half

·         Arthur Jones was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct following Cundiff’s FG (Q3, 0:57) which forced a kickoff from the 20.


Flacco’s interception also started the Seahawks at the 4.  Each time Seattle started inside the 20 the defense stepped up and held the Seahwaks to a field goal.


The defense played well until the final drive when they surrendered 4 consecutive first downs to allow Seattle to run off the final 5:52.  The lack of takeaways was a problem, but this is a game the Ravens could easily have won with a turnover differential of -1.


Of the Seahawks 70 offensive plays, 3 were kneels, so the following is based on 67 snaps:




Versus the Run:  39 plays, 122 yards, 3.1 YPC

Versus the Pass:  28 plays, 208 yards, 7.4 YPP

Overall:  67 plays, 330 yards, 4.9 YPPA


By number of defensive backs:


3 DBs:  5 plays, 5 yards, 1.0 YPPA

4 DBs:  38/180, 4.7 YPPA

5 DBs:  24/145 6.0 YPPA, 1 sack


By number of pass rushers:


3:  1/-9, -9.0 YPP 1 sack

4:  14/108, 7.7 YPP

5:  11/107, 9.7 YPP

6:  2/2, 1.0 YPP

7:  None



Individual Notes:


·         The Ravens had not allowed 42 rushing attempts (includes the kneels) in a game since 12/26/04 at Pittsburgh.  It is tied for the 3rd highest total allowed in team history.  While the final drive was frustrating, the Seahawks managed just 3.1 yards per carry with a long run of 8 yards.  I don’t ever recall seeing a 100-yard rusher have a long run of 8 yards previously (Lynch 32/109).


·         It certainly was difficult to assign tackle credit on many of Seattle’s runs, but it looks to me like Ngata’s total of 11 was inflated by 2.  He played solidly despite giving some ground.  It was good to see him get after Jackson for his QH (Q2, 4:19).  Given where the Seahawks ran the ball, the 2 assisted tackles credited to Cody (who was on the field for 25 rush attempts) was not unacceptable.


·         McClain wasn’t great in run defense.  He was credited with a tackle in the Gamebook that he appears to have missed (Q1, 7:28) on Lynch’s 8-yard run up the middle.  He missed a tackle on Lynch (Q3, 8:35) in the backfield that turned a loss of 2 into a gain of 1.  In coverage, he was part of the problem with the Ravens inability to stop the Seahawks underneath.  He was very late covering Lynch on the play that set up the first Seattle TD (Q1, 8:40) which went for a gain of 23.  He was also late covering Miller (Q4, 15:00) to allow a gain of 11 (5 + 6 YAC). 


·         The 50-yard completion (Q2, 7:21) came with an unusual defense on the field.  Rather than have Ayanbadejo in with the nickel on 3rd and 9, the Ravens went with 5 heavies (McPhee, Ngata, Redding, Suggs, Kruger), Lewis, and 5 DBs.  Carr rushed as Suggs dropped to cover.  Pollard and Reed were not able to maintain coverage on Baldwin despite pressure from McPhee forcing Jackson left.  The speed on TJ allowed him to get around the corner and get something on the throw.  That’s an extremely difficult play for a right-handed QB, and one virtually every other QB in the league would simply have thrown away.


·         The Ravens went to a 443 defense for 3 pays on the final drive.  Albert McClellan was inserted and the Ravens held the Seahawks to 7 yards on 3 plays.


·         Carr eluded the block of McCoy (Q4, 13:20) to take down Tate for a loss of 5 (officially a lateral/run) when Seattle lined up in a rarely-seen diamond bunch right.  He was credited with a PD on a ball in the back of the end zone that could fairly be called a drop by Baldwin (Q2, 0:57).  Otherwise, Carr allowed receptions on the other 5 balls thrown to his assignments.  He played soft on Rice (Q2, 3:04) which allowed a completion on a floater by Jackson under pressure from McPhee.  The most damaging reception was the 24-yard strike to Tate (Q4, 4:44) that extended Seattle’s game-ending drive.


·         Webb delivered 3 key PDs.  He knocked down the pass for Williams (Q1, 13:41) to force the initial 3 and out.  He got a piece of the ball headed for Baldwin (Q1, 5:35) in the end zone to force the Seahawks to settle for 3 points.  On the Seahawk’s final drive, he knocked down the sideline pass intended for Golden Tate.  That last PD was negated when Harbaugh accepted the illegal motion penalty on Tate.  On the very next play, Tate caught a 10-yard pass just out of the reach of Webb on the right sideline.  That was the only completion to Webb’s assignment all day.


·         Williams played well with only 2 catches allowed (7 and 10 yards) to his assignments.  He gets a point as an instigator for drawing the unsportsmanlike conduct flag on Williams despite what appeared to be reciprocal activity.  He recovered to dislodge the ball from Rice (Q3, 8:01) on what would have been a completion of 45+ yards.  His highlight of the day and probably the season, however, came on his helmet PD (Q2, 1:45).  On that play he had coverage on Miller, but broke off racing back to the end zone for the open Rice.  As he arrived, Rice was waiting for the throw, Cary continued through and the ball struck him in the helmet, incomplete.


·         McPhee provided excellent pressure.  He was in for 15 pass plays, drew a hold on Okung on the Kruger sack (Kruger was also held on the play, but that wasn’t called) and pressured Jackson on 4 other occasions (Q1, 13:41 and Q2, 7:21 and Q2, 3:04 and Q4, 9:21). 


·         Redding also provided significant pressure.  He flattened Jackson on the 21-yard pass left to Lynch (Q1, 9:35).  He was held by Carpenter (Q1, 3:33) on the same play where Suggs was also held by Okung.  Corey blew up Lynch’s run right (Q2, 2:38), forcing him to reverse his field into the waiting arms of Jones and Suggs who took him down for a loss of 2.  He registered a slow-developing QH on Jackson’s long incomplete to Rice that was broken up by Williams (Q3, 8:01).  He had pressure on Jackson to force a 1-yard completion (Q3, 6:46).  Finally, he registered a QH as TJ grounded the ball at Lynch’s feet (Q4, 9:28).


·         Whatever you may think of the silly Kruger jokes, the man has arrived as a pass rusher.  He pawed at Jackson on Webb’s fine PD in the back of the end zone (Q1, 5:35).  His sack (Q3, 12:44) came on an outside move on Carpenter when he fought through a hold that went unflagged.  Through his first 4 snaps against Jacksonville, he’d played 343 passing plays in his career with 1 sack to his credit.  Since then he has recorded 4.5 sacks on his last 43 pass snaps.

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The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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