ReFo: Ravens @ Buccaneers, Week 6
The Ravens hit early and often to establish an unassailable lead by the end of the 1st. John Breitenbach looks at the notable performances.
ReFo: Ravens @ Buccaneers, Week 6
There are a few fundamental plays you need to be able to stop in football and one of them is the quick slant. The Ravens burned the Bucs over and over again with quick-release passes and had an interior strong enough to pound the ball with success. In contrast Mike Glennon held the ball far too long and was under constant siege by a group of pass rushers in Baltimore which can stake a claim as the best in the business. That still doesn’t excuse some poor pocket presence by the second year quarterback and frankly some really poor decision-making involving throwing passes into coverage. Overall it was a day to forget for the Bucs. Let’s take a look at some individual performances.
Baltimore Ravens – Performances of Note
Joe Flacco, QB: +6.5
Breakdown: Excellent performance from Flacco who is very capable of displays like this. Overall discounting two drops and a spike, he was an impressive 21-of-26 for 306 yards and five touchdowns. He completed all four of his deep balls for 122 yards and three of his scores including a peach to Steve Smith down the left sideline with a rusher in his face. Although he wasn’t pressured a lot (7-of-29 dropbacks), he was more productive when the Bucs got heat, completing 5-of-7 for 114 yards and a score. That gave him a yards per attempts of 16.3, almost double the 8.7 he managed with a clean pocket. Complete performance from Flacco.
Signature Play: The touchdown he threw to Steve Smith (Q2, 14.09) on a bootleg running left with a defender closing fast was simply sublime. He hit the former Panther right in stride, burning a quality corner in Alterraun Verner.
Marshal Yanda, RG: +5.8
Breakdown: Despite some injuries to the offensive line, so long as Yanda remains in the lineup the Ravens will be able to run right. The way he latches onto linebackers at the second level and is able to control them despite the space they have to evade him is remarkable. You very rarely (almost never) see him off balance and he doesn’t make mental mistakes. Yanda is a proper old-school guard. His only significant error came in pass protection when he was beaten on a stunt by the defensive end allowing a hit but he still graded positively in that regard (+0.3) allowing just the aforementioned hit in 31 drop backs.
Signature Play: Pick pretty much any of the Ravens’ runs and you’ll see Yanda controlling his man, especially when he gets to the second level like at 4.31 in the third quarter.
Matt Elam, FS: -2.4
Breakdown: In a game with huge positives Elam stood out as the major negative. His poor start to the season continued as he recorded his fifth negatively graded game in a row. Coverage continues to be his major issue as he allowed both targets to be complete including a three yard touchdown. The other resulted in a first down and Elam converted a third down by committing a holding penalty. To confound matters he missed a tackle allowing significant yards after contact in the run game. Overall 2013’s first round pick is starting to look a miss for the Ravens’ front office.
Signature Stat: Elam is currently second last in yards per coverage snap allowed among safeties, giving up 1.32 yards per snap.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Performances of Note
Anthony Collins, LT: -2.7
Breakdown: After an excellent 2013 season in Cincinnati Collins seemed like a shrewd addition for the Bucs. He’s been anything but, however with four of his first six games resulting in red grades. Going against the most in-form outside linebacker in Terrell Suggs and an outstanding backup in Pernell McPhee was never going to be easy, but allowing a sack, two hits and four hurries (54 drop backs) is simply too much. Collins did manage to grade positively in the run game (+0.2) but lost as many battles as he won.
Signature Play: Suggs made him look foolish on one rush mid-way through the second quarter (5.44) as Collins failed to get even a fingertip on the outside linebacker who faked an inside move before getting around the edge for a hit.
Clinton McDonald, DT: +1.2
Breakdown: Another free agent acquisition struggling a little to adjust is McDonald although he put in a good performance in this one. In fact he was one of just four players to grade positively amongst the Bucs’ defense and the only one to grade in the green. McDonald did the majority of his work in run defense, recording four stops in just 25 run plays. Although he ultimately graded negatively as a pass rusher (-0.2) he did manage a pair of pressure on 23 rushes.
Signature Play: McDonald avoided a cut from the left guard impressively then worked down the line to make a tackle for loss with 11.14 to go in the second quarter.
Mason Foster, MLB: -3.3
Breakdown: Tough day for Foster on his return from injury as he struggled as a run defender in particular. The stats show four defensive stops but they fail to show the times the Ravens’ interior trio simply dominated him with their power. Overall he made just two tackles within three yards of the line of scrimmage in 37 plays. Foster also gave up a touchdown on his two targets and would have given up another first down but for a drop by the tight end.
Signature Play: The Ravens set the tone early, with Jeremy Zuttah dominating Foster with 10.41 to go in the first. The center was able to get to the second level to drive Foster about five yards before planting him on the deck.
PFF Game Ball
Joe Flacco deserves it for his third best performance in the six years he’s been in the league.
Follow John on twitter: @PFF_John