The Baltimore Ravens and their week 2 Pyrrhic victory feels empty, after multiple players, including Marshal Yanda, suffered long-term, or even season-ending injuries. But rather than continuing the sadness, PFF has delivered stats to enjoy.
As we all witnessed, Benjamin Watson had an incredible game, catching all eight targets thrown his way, for 91 yards. PFF graded him as the best Raven on the field, with a 93.8! He wasn’t the only tight end to produce, either. Nick Boyle shut down rushers and defenders with excellent blocking, posting a 98.2 run blocking grade.
Speaking of blockers, two Ravens perfomed excellently; Ronnie Stanley shaped up well, with an 80.0 overall grade. He ranked second for Ravens linemen, the other being right tackle Austin Howard, and his 86.9 overall.
PFF placed Joe Flacco in the positive range, but they do note he is not airing it out. Ravens fans like this though, as Baltimore isn’t throwing the ball 40+ times a game anymore. They will need to make bigger plays down the road, as only two attempts were 20+ yards. Nonetheless, he scored an 82.1 grade.
Circling back to tight ends, the Ravens incorporated a tight end on every single snap against the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens may have noticed a scheme advantage with a multi-tooled threat along the line, because they had at least one TE on the field on every offensive snap. The Ravens utilized the ‘12’ package the most, ran on 41% of plays.
The ‘12’ package is also what we know, or at least I know, as ‘Ace’ or ‘singleback’, on Madden. It’s where you line up with two tight ends, one on each side. It gives you seven blockers, which Baltimore needs with their latest slew of injuries. It especially helps when your tight end is producing nearly a 99-point grade in run blocking. With Boyle and Watson both capable of playmaking, I’m liking the usage.
On defense, the Ravens crushed the Browns. Their highest grading leader? Brandon Carr (81.6). The corner was targeted 10 times, of which he only allowed three completions for 36 yards. Among the seven incompletions, he had a pass defensed and an interception. Ozzie with the magic.
Second-prime Sizzle lead the team with five total pressures. Unfortunately though, PFF didn’t believe he graded well, handing Terrell Suggs a 67.2 overall grade. A big reason for success, the pass rusher took advantage of DeShone Kizer's Week 2-leading average time to throw mark of 3.36 seconds.
Coming back to the secondary, defensivebacks punished in-routes and crossers, with three of their four interceptions snared from such play calls.
Another peculiar scheme call, Dean Pees employed a personnel call of his own. Against the Browns, he used only one down lineman significantly more than against Cincinnati. The 1-4-6 package was used on 40% of snaps vs. the Browns. Against the Bengals, this personnel was resorted to on a single snap.
PFF brought up a defensive rookie, but it’s not Tyus Bowser and his great game. Instead, they applaud Marlon Humphrey, who had only 11 defensive snaps. In those eleven plays, he allowed but only one catch for 3 yards on 3 targets, including one pass defense.
It’s clear the Ravens have great players on both sides of the football. If both can contribute effectively each week, the Ravens have a shot to win every game.