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PFF: Unlikely heroes, impressive players and collapsing base defense result in Week 9 loss

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NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

Week 9 Ravens Offensive Stats:

When Ronnie Stanley fell to the turf, following a big block, many were worried with his replacement, James Hurst. They shouldn’t have been, though as James posted his best game grade of the season so far with a 77.6 mark. He allowed only a single hurry, and performed solidly as a run blocker, the aspect of his game that has been hurting his grade this season. After many strenuous seasons, Hurst is becoming a player we all hoped for.

He was a winner in my postgame article, and a winner in PFF’s eyes, as Jeremy Maclin was the highest graded member of the offense this week. He graded out at 79.7 and recorded a WR Rating of 112.0. He can’t do it all, but he can haul in eight catches for 98 yards.

QB Joe Flacco was poor throwing the ball downfield; He failed to complete any of the four passes he attempted that travelled 20+ yards.

I felt this stat was misleading, as Breshad Perriman managed to drop one pass, and fail to attack the ball in the second, which resulted in an interception.

Week after week, the Ravens offense used Alex Collins as their crutch. This week the tailback was bottled up by the Titans’ defense, posting a 43.4 overall game grade. After recording 10 runs of 15 yards or more in the first eight weeks of the season, he managed none such runs in Week 9. The Titans clearly game-planned for his skillset, and executed brilliantly.

Week 9 Ravens Defensive Stats:

Eric Weddle recorded a season-best game grade of 85.0. He allowed the one target into his coverage for 15 yards, adding an interception and sack too. I didn’t call him a winner in my postgame, but he clearly deserved to be among the others.

Rookie CB Marlon Humphrey also shone in coverage against the Titans. He was targeted twice, allowing neither while also defending a pass. While this season may become dark, he’s a bright spot.

Matthew Judon was the strongest performing member of the front seven. He recorded four defensive stops, one sack and one hit. What a great draft pick by Ozzie, snaring the defensive star in the fifth round.

After four batted passes and four pressures in his first three games, DT Willie Henry has cooled off; he managed only one hurry on Sunday afternoon, and three in total over the past four games. It’s disappointing, as he balled out with Brandon Williams gone, but regressed once Williams returned.

In order to counter the Titans’ tendency to use heavy personnel, the Ravens used their base defense 71% of the time. This was a considerable increase from their 36% average usage over weeks 1-8. This resulted in a timeshare of sorts between Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey, with Smith logging 35 defensive snaps, and Humphrey on the field for 18.

The above was the right call by Dean Pees. He leaned and placed his heavy personnel to combat the heavy style from Tennessee, but they didn’t produce. Unfortunately, his base defense didn’t produce. This isn’t Pees’ fault, it’s the players.