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Ravens Film Review: Jimmy Smith’s Pick-Six

A look at the Ravens’ final score against the Dolphins

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the Ravens film review. This week I’ll be looking at Jimmy Smith’s interception return for a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in what ended up being a shutout win for the Ravens, their second of the year.

Above is the play in question. Pre-snap the Ravens come out in a single high shell, which means that if they stay in the shell post-snap, they’ll either be in cover 1 or cover 3. The Dolphins come out in 11 personnel, which means they have one running back and one tight end. Given the situation, the Dolphins are going to be passing. They’re down big and need points.

What Jimmy Smith does on the play is intelligent. He’s lined up against Kenny Stills, about nine yards off to allow himself a cushion against the speedy wide out. Smith isn't the fastest corner, so in a coverage where he’ll be singled up on Stills, he needs to be able to stay with him deep if the play develops that way.

When the ball is snapped, Smith knows that he has Eric Weddle blitzing off the edge to force the ball out quick. The blitz combined with the cushion allows Smith to sit in his cover 3 shell and read the quarterback’s drop and eyes. Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore had given the Ravens no reason to fear him deep, and his arm was an issue here. Pressure arrives as soon as Moore hits the top of his drop and he lets it fly from the opposite hash. Smith reads it perfectly and jumps the pass to take it back for six.

Jimmy Smith has always been a cornerback that fans and media alike have known was talented, but health has been a concern. Smith has been consistent this year, playing in all of the Ravens’ games and leading what has proven to be a talented secondary. Smith may never receive the accolades and recognition of corners like Aqib Talib, Jalen Ramsey, Marcus Peters, Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson, but when healthy he has played as consistently well as those players. If he keeps up this level of play, this may finally be the year he receives the recognition he deserves.