ReFo: Ravens @ Browns, Week 9
If you’re wondering why most people are avoiding talking about this game, wonder no more. At times it just wasn’t very good. The Baltimore Ravens’ offense decided to take a sabbatical after scoring on the first two drives, while the Cleveland Browns had that end zone allergy rear it’s ugly head.
Just another day when the Dawg Pound plays host to the Ravens.
But just because neither team will have walked away completely (or even remotely) satisfied with their performance, don’t think some individuals won’t. Let’s look at some of them, as well as some guys who will need to improve.
Baltimore – Three Performances of Note
Making an Impact
Who would you guess picked up the most pressure for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday? Terrell Suggs, Halot Ngata or Paul Kruger even? Well you’d be wrong on all accounts. It was actually Dannell Ellerbe (+4.5), and he did it by picking up a sack, two hits and two hurries on just seven pass rushes. That’s the kind of impact they need from Ellerbe in his new every-down role. He added four more defensive stops and didn’t allow pass into his primary coverage all game. Two games as an every-down player, two positive grades.
The Blocking Tight End
Every week in some way, shape or form, we look at which Ravens tight end is getting more playing time. Without fail Ed Dickson (-2.6) plays in their single or two receiver sets, while Dennis Pitta takes the snaps when three are on the field. Pitta is the pass catching one you see, so by default Dickson is the blocker of the two. Only he’s not, and never has been, a standout blocker. Not in-line anyway. He got beaten for a tackle for a short gain on three separate occasions, and got next to no joy when he attempted to block the Browns’ bulky defensive ends.
The Ridiculous Reed
He just keeps on chugging along doesn’t he, Ed Reed (+4.1)? Despite being the victim of a big-time illegal blindside block, he showed his versatility by coming up to help in the run game, where he got the better of Schwartz (10:51 in Q2) before making a number of plays in the passing game. It culminated with his interception to ice the game, but he out foxed Brandon Weeden on more than once occasion and will feel slightly disappointed to have walked away with only one pick and two pass defenses.
Cleveland Browns – Three Performances of Note
There have been times this year where Weeden (-5.9) has looked like he’s getting the hang of this NFL quarterback gig. Then there have been times like Sunday. When he wasn’t picking out Reed like he was one of his own receivers, he was displaying some accuracy issues that seemed to get worse as the game went on. By the end of things he’d completed four passes over 10 yards in the air and averaged just 4.8 yards per attempt. Even his normal get out (receivers dropping balls) wasn’t there for him as they put just two on the ground, though he can thank Chris Ogbonnaya for an illegal formation penalty that negated a touchdown.
Mixed Day For Corners
If I told you one Browns corner would play well and the other not so well, you’d figure that Sheldon Brown (+3.0) would be making his run at a place in our ‘Had a Bad Day’ Team. Instead he starred, allowing just one of the four balls into his coverage to be complete for 5 yards. Joe Haden (-2.5) on the other hand had a rougher time of things, giving up five of eight for 88 yards and a touchdown that will go down as one of the low points of his career. Not content with allowing a reception to Torrey Smith, the Ravens’ receiver cut back and Haden was caught woefully out of position and unable to stop him cruising into the end zone. Not the kind of performance you expect from a shutdown corner.
Tackles Not a Problem
When you play the Baltimore Ravens you expect your tackles to be in for a tricky encounter. Obviously Joe Thomas and Mitchell Schwartz didn’t get the memo, as Thomas was perfect in pass protection, and Schwartz gave up just two hurries. The rookie Schwartz has been a bit up and down in his rookie year, but this marked the fifth time he’d given up two or fewer hurries in the game. He’s certainly learning from one of the best, with this being Thomas’ third perfect game in pass protection of the year.
– Joe Flacco was pressured on just four of 25 drop-backs.
– Terrell Suggs managed just a hit and a hurry on his 34 pass rushes, with both of them coming when he was lined up on the left side of the defensive line.
– The Ravens missed nine tackles. The Browns only four.
PFF Game Ball
He made plays when his team needed him to, and got the interception to ice the game. He is Ed Reed.
Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled