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Defenders on the field too long

Multiple players at top of total snaps

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Kendrick Lewis 368 (4th)
  2. Will Hill III 383 (3rd)
  3. Jimmy Smith 381 (3rd)
  4. Brandon Williams 252 (4th)
  5. Courtney Upshaw 318 (3rd)
  6. C.J. Mosley 377 (2nd)
  7. Daryl Smith 383 (1st)

What do these players have in common? All are listed in the top five for their respective positions for total snaps played. The Ravens are losing players to injury, and no more rotation can be found for the starters. A correlation or causation for lack of success down the stretch for Baltimore?

Safeties:

Will Hill has taken 383 snaps in 5 weeks. Not far behind is Kendrick Lewis at 368. These safeties cannot be taking 70 snaps at 100% speed. And they shouldn't be expected to. Lack of depth and rotation forcing extra reps can strain these players. And in the fourth quarter after Will Hill has made plays can be too tired or exhausted to stop that final drive.

Cornerbacks:

Jimmy Smith in coverage? Does just fine. Jimmy Smith attempting to stop a play 76 times a game? He isn't a cyborg. The Ravens can't get off the field from the lack of pass rush. The Ravens then are on the field after another 3rd down completion. It's a vicious cycle that the Ravens are inside of, and the players are fighting against exactly what they're trying to stop.

Linebackers:

Daryl Smith has been on the field more than any other linebacker this season. With 383 snaps to his name so far this season the 33 year old linebacker is being rode much harder than necessary. Problem is they cannot swap out for another linebacker with his coverage skills being the only linebacker able to do so. Sitting at second in snaps is CJ Mosley. Young enough to do it and having the stamina helps, but rocking 70 snaps a game is going to make him exhausted by the end of games, and a full season of over 1,000 snaps as he did last season can wear on a player.

Courtney Upshaw, the man who split reps with Elvis Dumervil last year is 3rd in overall snaps for Outside Linebackers. Another player over 300 reps within the first five games. Not something to cheer about.

Nose Tackle

I love seeing Brandon Williams on the field. Always makes me happy seeing the Hulk smashing on the gridiron. Yet, the big man is the number one in Nose tackle snaps, and 4th in DT/NT snaps. The heavy hitter is over 250 snaps, and any player knows the trench warfare takes a brutal toll. Williams is showing massive perserverance playing so many snaps, and doing it so very effectively.

The Bottom Line:

It's not all bad. Super star players like J.J. Watt, Justin Houston, and Derrick Johnson all are rocking over 300 reps. But seeing players that play badly with so many reps means this team cannot fix the issues, especially knowing the IR list is only building every Sunday.