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Baltimore Ravens: Formations and Plays by Quarterback

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The offensive plays and formations have been adjusted based on the quarterback in the the first two preseason games.

Rob Carr

The preseason is certainly a time to try different things with the offense. The offense has struggled at times under Flacco, but that is certainly not uncommon in his now 6 year preseason career. Given the fact that Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor have drastically different skill sets, are they running the same offense? If Flacco’s 5 year starting streak were to end, would we be seeing the same plays and formations. I have always thought it was interesting how offenses prepare and execute in the preseason with so many players getting a chance.

Depending on personnel, offensive coordinators might need to have two or three game plans to put their quarterbacks and other players in the best possible situation. Below are some data points with regards to formations and the types of plays being run out of these different formations for the 3 Ravens Quarterbacks:

2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB
Joe Flacco 9 15 6 3
Tyrod Taylor 17 52 1 3
Caleb Hanie 8 1 0 1

There is most certainly a sample size issue here, but I think it is interesting to see how many plays each QB is getting out of each formation (4 most popular formations are in the table). Below shows the percentage of the total plays:

2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB 1 WR, 2 TE, 2 RB
Joe Flacco 27.27% 45.45% 18.18% 9.09%
Tyrod Taylor 23.29% 71.23% 1.37% 4.11%
Caleb Hanie 80.00% 10.00% 0.00% 10.00%

You can see that a large number of Tyrod Taylor’s snaps are coming with 3 WRs and 1 RB. I think this is because it maximizes his running ability. It is very hard to get the quarterback in space when there are two backs in the backfield.

2-1-2 (Run) 3-1-1 (Run) 2-2-1 (Run) 1-2-2 (Run)
Joe Flacco 55.56% 26.67% 33.33% 100.00%
Tyrod Taylor 64.71% 46.15% 100.00% 100.00%
Caleb Hanie 75.00% 100.00% 0.00% 100.00%

Taylor has certainly had more opportunities than Flacco has, but you can see that they are running the ball more in almost every formation. I think the conclusion here is that if Flacco were to go down with an injury, we would see a lot more of a spread offense and a lot more Ray Rice. It will be interesting to see if Tyrod is given the opportunity to throw the ball more as he gets more snaps in the preseason.