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Ravens News 9/24: Defensive notes, decision of the week and more

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens rewind: Stock watch from loss to Chiefs, quotes to note and more - Aaron Kasinitz

OLB Matt Judon: Trending up

Though the Ravens’ defense allowed an eye-popping 503 yards to the Chiefs, Judon enjoyed success rushing the passer. He racked up his third sack in three games this season and finished with four quarterback hits, while no other Baltimore defender hit Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes more than once.

Judon did draw a flag for a costly personal foul in the first quarter when he pulled Mahomes down by the back of his jersey, but for the most part, the third-year outside linebacker looked like the explosive pass rusher the Ravens need him to be.

WR Miles Boykin: Trending down

Boykin, a third-round rookie, didn’t pull down a reception Sunday and committed an offensive pass interference penalty in the fourth quarter that stunted Baltimore’s momentum on a late drive. After enjoying a stellar training camp, Boykin appeared prepared to make a significant immediate impact as a pass catcher. So far this season, he has just two receptions for 16 yards.

Defensive Notes: Ravens at Chiefs - Ken McKusick

Looking at the OLBs

Tyus Bowser (11 snaps) was conspicuously absent despite some contributions in limited snaps. He had a pressure and partially deflected a ball that then settled into the hands of Hardman (Q2, 10:02) who outraced the defense to the other side of the field for a gain of 14. After playing 40 of the team’s first 100 non-penalty snaps vs the Dolphins and Cardinals, he played just 18% vs the Chiefs. Bowser played the bulk of his snaps with Judon

Jaylon Ferguson (9 snaps) was activated for the first time, but did not play well. He lost the right edge when he made an inside move on Schwartz (Q3, 10:35) that allowed McCoy to race for 25 yards up the right sideline. As a pass rusher, he did not record a pressure event. On his 9 snaps, the Ravens allowed 163 yards (18.1 YPP).

Pernell McPhee (51 snaps) did not generate a pressure in 24 snaps (12 pass) in the second half. It’s difficult to understand the stepped-up workload given the light usage for Bowser and Williams.

Tim Williams (13 snaps) contributed to the pressure to flush Mahomes on what would become Judon’s horse collar tackle. He did not otherwise make my notes.

What the Chiefs Said After Their Week 3 Victory - Clifton Brown

DT Chris Jones

On the speed of Lamar Jackson:

“You can never really get a game plan for Lamar Jackson. He is so fast in real life that it’s crazy.”

“It’s not really about slowing him down, it’s about taking your angles and making sure that you limit the yardage that he is getting. There isn’t any, ‘slowing him down.’ He came in rushing for what, 150 (yards per game)? There is not going to be any of that, ‘slowing that guy down.’ Everybody knows that he is going to run. He even has gotten better as a pocket passer. We just try to limit the yardage that he is going to get.”

DE Frank Clark

On the difficulty of defending Lamar Jackson:

“I believe one of the keys is forcing him to go in a certain direction. When you force him to go right or you force him to go in a direction, his passer rating goes down when you get him on the run. Also, the negative when you get him on the run is, that guy gets in the open field, he is going to make some guys miss. He is going to get some positive yards. We saw that today. A few times the guys thought they had sacks and he got away. That’s all the credit to him. He is a great player. I don’t take anything away from his game. He will give another team his best shot and it may go another way. Fortunately, today we had his number.”

Ravens HC John Harbaugh earns Decision of the Week honors in Week 3 - PFF

RAVENS GOING FOR TWO DOWN 11 WITH 12:27 LEFT IN THE GAME

The Baltimore Ravens, down by 17 points on the road to the 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs, scored a touchdown on a one-yard run by Mark Ingram after an extremely unlikely conversion of a fourth down by Lamar Jackson and Seth Roberts.

Down 11 points, John Harbaugh opted to go for two points and was unsuccessful. Unlike their attempt after a first-quarter touchdown, this try was not elicited by a pre-snap penalty by the Chiefs. They went for it because of the math. Qualitatively, going for two points on the first in a sequence of potential scores means that you know what you need to win or tie a game on subsequent scores and can plan accordingly. For example, had the Ravens converted the two-point conversion, they know a priori that scoring a field goal and a touchdown with a conventional PAT with the game outright, instead of leaving similar decisions to the end of the game. Mathematically:

After missing the two-point conversion attempt: KC: 94.3% to win, BAL 5.7%

If they made the two-point conversion attempt: KC 89.1% to win, BAL 10.9%

If they would have kicked the PAT: KC 92.8% to win, BAL 7.2%

Hence, the benefit of making the two-point conversion over kicking the PAT was 3.7% win probability points, while the loss via missing the two-point conversion over kicking the PAT was just 1.5%. Assuming the Ravens are a modest 50% on two-point conversions, this is easily the preferable decision. In fact, it would only cease being the preferable decision if the Ravens were under 41% making two-point conversions, a futility that would not be expected with a quarterback like Jackson and the Ravens’ offense we would give a 57% chance of converting.