ReFo: Ravens @ Dolphins, Week 5

The Ravens get pressure, while their run game sputters. Miami's defensive interior dominates and Ryan Tannehill gets very little help. All that and more from Michael Renner in this Re-Focused.

| 4 years ago

The Ravens get pressure, while their run game sputters. Miami's defensive interior dominates and Ryan Tannehill gets very little help. All that and more from Michael Renner in this Re-Focused.

ReFo: Ravens @ Dolphins, Week 5

2013 REFO bal@mia wk5The tone for this game was set on the very first drive. Faced with a 2nd-and-1, the Dolphins handed the ball off twice to Lamar Miller and he was stoned both times by Haloti Ngata and the Ravens’ defensive front. From the beginning to the end, defensive lines dominated the game. The Dolphins averaged 2.2 yards per designed run, while the Ravens averaged 3.2. The Ravens had 19 hurries and the Dolphins had 28. With the game on the line it was a sack from Elvis Dumervil that would push the Dolphins out of makeable field goal territory and give the Ravens the 26-23 win.

Baltimore – Three Performances of Note

Pressure When it Counts

The Dolphins’ defensive line may have been able to generate more pressures, but it was the Ravens’ defensive line that got to the quarterback when it mattered most. On the last drive of the game, the Ravens were able to pressure Ryan Tannehill on four of his six drop-backs. Dumervil (+2.2), Chris Canty (+1.0), and Pernell McPhee (+1.6) were all able to get pressure on Tannehill that last drive and all had multiple pressures in the game. It was a common theme that when the Ravens needed their pass rush, the pass rush delivered. The Ravens got pressure on six of 15 third downs including three sacks, while the third downs they didn’t get pressure on had a speedy average time to throw of 2 seconds.

Get Monroe Up to Speed

Bryant McKinnie’s (-5.4) lame-duck performance went about as one would expect from the often criticized veteran left tackle. McKinnie did nothing to disprove his reputation for being lazy, as he barely even tried to put up a fight for his job. The Ravens ran the ball 13 times into McKinnie’s gaps and they came away with a total of 23 yards. McKinnie also gave up six pressures in 37 pass blocking snaps. The same play-to-the-whistle mentality of Marshal Yanda could not be found in the 12th-year left tackle, as he was regularly caught standing upright if he thought a run had passed him or a play had been made. McKinnie is now ranked 59th out of 61 tackles and it looks like his days starting at left tackle are probably up.

Still Looking for Answers on the Ground

The Ravens ground game has been absolutely dreadful this season. They are 31st in yards per carry at 2.8 and, unsurprisingly, have the second-worst team run blocking grade, in front of only the Jaguars. While the offensive line deficiencies have been obvious (see Eugene Monroe trade), the running backs have been shadows of their playoff selves. Sunday was no different. Both Ray Rice (-2.0) and Bernard Pierce (-1.8) fumbled against the Dolphins and neither was able to break a tackle. Pierce was frequently indecisive and stuttered when his initial point of attack was closed and in turn was unable to find ulterior running lanes before defenders arrived. Rice has been more decisive in his cuts than Pierce, it’s just that he’s gone down extremely easily this season — his 10.7 elusive rating is 24th out of 27 qualifying running backs (Pierce’s is 25.6, and Adrian Peterson’s is 87.8 for comparison). There were multiple times on Sunday where he was unable to maintain balance through a hole even when there was no defender making a serious tackle attempt, just bodies. He averaged just 1.3 yards after contact and is averaging 1.58 on the season.

Miami – Three Performances of Note

Dominant Inside

Randy Starks (+7.7), Jared Odrick (+4.4), and Paul Soliai (+3.3) are quickly becoming one of the fiercest defensive tackle rotations in the NFL. They’re currently PFF’s 7th-, 10th-, and 8th-highest graded defensive tackles and they certainly looked the part against the Ravens. The trio combined for 11 pressures and seven run stops while Odrick added a batted pass. While Starks and Soliai have had great seasons in the past, Odrick’s much improved play has come out of nowhere. Odrick was a first-round pick in 2010, but was inconsistent as a 3-4 and terrible as a 4-3 end. The Penn State product appears to be much better suited rushing from the tackle position in a 4-3 and is on pace to triple his pressure total from last season. Odrick’s played inside the tackles on 96% of his snaps this season compared to less than 50% last season and the difference has been night and day.

No Help For Tannehill

Sunday’s game must have been frustrating for Ryan Tannehill (+4.7). Drive after drive was halted by sacks, pressures, and/or dropped passes. It wasn’t just that Miami’s offensive line was getting beaten — it’s that they were losing immediately.  The Dolphins’ quarterback faced pressure on 17 of his 46 drop-backs, but the average pressure came in just 2.3 seconds. To give some context, the average time to throw in the NFL this season is just under 2.8 seconds and only 37% of passes have been thrown in less than 2.3 seconds.

To go along with three third-down sacks, the Dolphins also had two third-down drops. Both drops came in Baltimore territory, the most notable being Mike Wallace’s late in the first quarter. Wallace broke wide open at the Baltimore 6-yard line after middle linebacker Daryl Smith bit on motion to the flat. The throw was slightly behind Wallace, but it was one he had to bring in and it led to the Dolphins settling for a field goal.

Not the Same Clabo

Five games in and it’s probably safe to say that right tackle Tyson Clabo has lost a step. The perennial Top 10 tackle is ranked 53rd of 61 tackles after Sunday, with a grade of -8.8. He was continually beaten every which way by the Ravens’ edge rushers. Four of the seven times he was beaten came via the inside move, while two were from bull rushes and one from a speed rush. Clabo has now graded below -0.5 in pass blocking four out the Dolphins’ five games this season. That ties his high season since PFF has been grading games.

Game Notes

Olivier Vernon’s sack in the second quarter with 6:57 remaining was a great example of how sacks can be misleading. Vernon was the only one of four down-linemen not to get initial pressure, but got the sack when Flacco was forced to scramble to his left directly into Vernon.

– Brent Grimes allowed 99 yards in coverage, his most in a game since 2010.

Terrell Suggs didn’t register a single pressure outside of his three sacks.

– A.Q. Shipley came in at left guard for Kelechi Osemele on the seventh offensive play and had the worst grade of any player in the game, at -7.6.

Game Ball

Lardarius Webb was the anchor for an overall shaky secondary on Sunday and his play was worthy of a game ball. He was targeted nine times and yielded four catches for 33 yards to go along with a pass defensed.


Follow Michael on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • Corey

    This is case-in-point of why PFF stats are so overblown/misleading. Terrell Suggs was absolutely dominant against the run and the pass and is a serious contender for DPOY, yet PFF treats him as an after-thought, instead giving the game ball to Webb, who allowed Mike Wallace to have his second best game of the season (not his fault, as the Ravens corners were playing too soft, but the point remains).

    • Joe

      Three sacks isn’t “absolutely dominant” against the pass if those were his only pressures in 46 Miami dropbacks. No comment on PFF’s treatment of Suggs in general, but I think you’re a little biased, man.

      • LaMar

        I’ll partially agree w/Corey on this one. I don’t think PFF is overblown but it does seem a bit egregious not to mention that all three sacks came in about 12 minutes of game time (in the 4th qtr no less) and that Suggs is has been a monster against the run (historically not one of his strong suits). His DPOY in 2011 was flawed because of the hot start he had with multiple sacks in the first half of the year but this year he is showing a much more rounded aspect to his game.

        • JJ

          You might be the only person in the world who thinks Suggs run defense is “historically not one of his strong suits”, thats the sole reason why he won DPotY over players with higher sack totals.

          • LaMar

            Perhaps you misunderstood me. I’m not saying that Suggs has not graded well against the run career-wise (I’m sure he has) but run-stopping has never been his key responsibility in the Ravens’ defensive scheme. With Jarrett Johnson setting the edge for several years, it fell on Suggs to get to the QB and to play backside contain against cutbacks. This year is the first year we’ve seen him both set the edge consistently, disrupt the QB and penetrate the backfield. Also, as reported by many Baltimore beat writers, he’s been in the best shape of his career which would definitely help him sustain against the run better than he has in the past.

      • Mike Renner

        In these articles I try to focus on unusual performances from players/positional groups, big plays, and/or considerable trends. While Suggs had a good game, three pressures and two run stops from a guy who has been one of the elite edge defenders against both run and pass the last five years is hardly out of the ordinary. I did find it noteworthy though that all his pressures led to sacks, which is quite lucky and impressive enough to mention.

    • corners

      dolphins havent been able to run the ball in any of their 5 games so far.I woudnt put too much stock into it, if anything ngata is the reason suggs looks better at the run,where else they gona run?

  • corners

    did PI penalties count against grimes yardage allowed?There was a back to back bad PI call that changed the game

    • Mike Renner

      No penalties don’t go against yardage. Grimes didn’t take a penalty downgrade for that play.

  • TiberiusJonez

    If you watched the game, you would know that Suggs did not have a dominant game. Furthermore, as someone who consistently is in, or wins my fantasy football league championship game every year, I am an absolute stat junkie, and find more useful information on this site than any other…period. This is especially important to me as my style of play means I have at least one “plug n play” or “waiver wire special” plugged in on a weekly basis; this has been key to my success many times. As far as then rest of this article, I specifically meandered my way here to today because I wanted to see if there was any mention of the Dolphins biggest free-agency bust, Tyson Clabo, and sure enough, here is Renner pointing out what I already knew… Clabo is not just getting beat, he is getting destroyed… inside, outside and over the top. He single-handedly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory today when he got absolutely abused by Mario Williams on consecutive drives, the second resulting in a sack/strip that gave the Bills the ball in field goal position when all the Fins had to do was run out the clock. And before anyone says it, no, Tannehill was not holding the ball too long, and neither was it a case of a lack of pocket awareness… Joe Montana or Dan Marino would have been sacked just as Tannehill was. It was infuriating. The coaching staff needs to take a serious look at whoever the next-man-up is, because it may be his time.