DEFENSIVE NOTES WEEK 16 NEW YORK GIANTS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS - Ken McKusick
The Ravens pass was in stark contrast before and after halftime. To summarize:
First half: 13 pass plays, 11 ATS, 2 ball out quick (BOQ), 0 pressures
Second half: 34 pass plays, 10 ATS, 6 BOQ, 18 pressure events, including 6 sacks, 5 other QHs, 1 ball batted down at the LoS, and 6 other pressures.
The Ravens rushed 5+ men on 27 of 47 drop backs (57%), which is well above their season average and approximately twice the rate of the NFL as a whole. On those plays the Ravens defense allowed 3.4 YPP and collected 5 sacks. Rushing 6+, the Ravens held the Giants to -13 yards on 12 plays (-1.1 YPP) with 11 of those snaps coming in the second half.
Justin Madubuike also had a fast sack for a loss of 7 on a vanilla 4-man rush when he beat LG Shane Lemieux (Q3, 5:28). Pass rush generated by scheme is great, but 1-on-1 wins are better.
Honorable mentions include Anthony Averett, Matthew Judon, Patrick Queen, Jihad Ward, and Derek Wolfe.
Ravens snap-count analysis: Anthony Averett and Tramon Williams fortify injury-riddled secondary - Childs Walker
Observations: Dobbins and Edwards split snaps almost evenly, perhaps in part because Dobbins took a hard shot late in the game. It will be interesting to see if Edwards’ recent flashes as a pass catcher lead to more work for him in general. Mark Ingram II was a healthy scratch for a second straight week. Ricard and Tomlinson matched their season-high snap counts from the week before, indicating the essential roles they play as blockers. The same could be said for Boykin, who hasn’t lost any ground since he returned to a starter’s workload in Week 13. With Snead banged up, Duvernay received his greatest workload since Week 13. The Ravens also used him in their run game and as their punt returner. Skura stepped in for Mekari, who was battling back tightness, which created an opportunity for Bredeson to play as the team’s sixth lineman in heavy formations. With James Proche inactive, Moore played his first offensive snaps of the season.
Dominant run game? Torrid pass rush? Ravens’ biggest strength is focus - Jamison Hensley
As much as their run game and pass rush should strike fear into foes, the Ravens (10-5) now can clinch a wild-card spot with a win at the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday because of their refusal to get distracted.
In their past four games, the Ravens have beaten the Cowboys, Browns, Jaguars and Giants by a combined score of 148-86 — a 15.5-point average margin of victory.
After last season’s playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans, Jackson acknowledged the Ravens were defeated because they overlooked the opponent. This season, Baltimore is in position to return to the playoffs because it never got ahead of itself.
Did the Ravens ever think they wouldn’t get the help they needed?
“No, we have to do what we have to do,” Baltimore linebacker Matthew Judon said. “We can’t let other teams and what they’re doing and how they’re playing affect us. Because that stuff starts to show after a while, if we’re just hoping and praying on some negativity in other people. And now, it’s in our hands.”
No, Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards isn’t going to stop - Aaron Kasinitz
“He’s really incredible,” tight end Mark Andrews said. “Gus, he deserves a lot more credit than he gets. He’s the heart and soul, kind of, of our team, really, with everything he does, the way he runs the ball. You see the way he catches the ball, and he breaks tackles left and right. He’s a beast.”
The 6-foot-1, 238-pound runner entered the league after college stops at Miami and Rutgers carrying impressive size for a running back. Questions hovered around his ability to accelerate and make NFL defenders miss.
Recently, Edwards has added some wiggle to his game that makes Jackson proud. He juked several Giants on Sunday and bounced carries toward the sideline, combining his power with hints of agility. Edwards also has more receiving yards the past two games (73) than he did in his first two seasons combined (65).
“Oh man, he’s doing it all right now,” Jackson said. “He’s catching the ball out of the backfield now – it’s getting deadly.”
Four Ravens Thoughts Entering Week 17 - Glenn Clark
Despite this week’s results, the Steelers are still the most desirable first-round opponent. Except maybe the Colts.
Yes, Pittsburgh’s offense came to life in the second half against the Colts and yes, the Titans’ defense leaves more than a little to be desired. But Pittsburgh’s utter inability to run the football makes them the best possible matchup for the Ravens in the first weekend, particularly provided Baltimore gets cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith back on the field before then. Tennessee remains a threat to just be clicking offensively for 60 minutes no matter who the opposing defense is. Buffalo, of course, has largely looked like a juggernaut of late.
If Indianapolis could somehow win while Tennessee and Miami both lose, the Ravens would face the Colts in Round 1 and would have to love their chances there. Of course, the Ravens still have to prove that they can win a playoff game against, well, anyone.