PFF Preview: Ravens @ Buccaneers, Week 6
Coming off a disappointing Week 5 loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-4) welcome the Baltimore Ravens (3-2) to Raymond James Stadium on Sunday afternoon as they look to secure their second win of the season.
In order to do that, the Buccaneers’ run defense needs to be keen on a Ravens’ run game that will likely be the focal point of the offense. As a unit, the Ravens’ run blocking has been a vital part of their success on the ground this year, specifically when running behind interior linemen, Kelechi Osemele, Jeremy Zuttah, and Marshal Yanda.
Justin Forsett, who is a shifty runner and is able to make defenders miss, is likely to be the featured back on Sunday. With big-play ability, Forsett has forced 16 missed tackles on 73 touches this year (rushing attempts and receptions) for an Elusive Rating of 57.9. Not to mention the fact that Forsett has produced a Breakaway Percentage of 45.1% with five runs of 15+ yards (tied for fifth) for a total of 134 yards (fourth-best in the league).
As Forsett has racked up 244 of his 297 yards on the ground between the tackles this year, Clinton McDonald and Gerald McCoy will need to be stout and control the interior point of attack in order to limit Forsett and the Ravens’ run game.
McDonald and McCoy have played well against the run this year, as McDonald has been credited with seven stops, tied for eighth among defensive tackles, and McCoy chipping in with five.
Lavonte David will also be an important factor in the run game, as he is tied for a league-high 26 tackles in run defense, as well 19 stops (second-best), while on his way to producing a Run Stop Percentage of 13.4%. That percentage is good for seventh-best among 4-3 outside linebackers.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
James Hurst – After a flawless Week 4, Hurst generated a Week 5 Pass Blocking Efficiency rating of 85.7, third-worst among all tackles for the week.
Steve Smith Sr. – Smith has been targeted 48 times by Joe Flacco, tied for sixth-most targets among all wide receivers.
Jimmy Smith – Continues to stand out as one of the top cornerbacks in the league and has limited opposing quarterbacks to a rating of 39.6 when throwing his direction. That’s tied for 10th-best.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Alterraun Verner – With a defensive run grade of +4.4, Verner has the highest grade of all cornerbacks.
Vincent Jackson – Having been targeted 48 times, Jackson has only been able to catch 43.8% of balls thrown his way, one of the worst percentages in the league.
Bobby Rainey – With an Elusive Rating of 75.2, Rainey has been one of the best backs in the league at making defenders miss.
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