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By Matt Vensel | May 15, 2013
The Ravens could have as many as seven or eight new starters on defense when the 2013 season begins. You can produce a number of statistics that suggest why they may have felt compelled to overhaul their defense. Here is a good one: The Ravens whiffed on 87 tackles during the 2012 season, according to Football Outsiders. Aaron Schatz, who wrote about broken tackles in this recent post , explained that Football Outsiders define a broken tackle as one of two events: “either the ball-carrier escapes from the grasp of the defender, or the defender is in good position for a tackle but the ball-carrier jukes him out of his shoes.” Schatz added that “if the ball-carrier sped by a slow defender who dived and missed, that didn't count as a broken tackle.” Based on Football Outsiders' charting, done by more than two dozen people, only three NFL teams missed more tackles during the regular season.
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By Matt Vensel | January 13, 2014
In Sunday's AFC championship game, two of the NFL's fastest teams -- in terms of what their offenses do between plays, not during -- will battle it out with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line. The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos both rank in the top five in the league in pace of play, according to Football Outsiders . Led by future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, those two high-scoring offenses often forgo a huddle and rush to the line of scrimmage to keep defenders on their heels, strand would-be substitutions on the sidelines, and sometimes limit what the defensive coordinators can call.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2013
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Ravens. The annual Football Outsiders Almanac arrived in my email inbox this morning, which felt like Christmas for a football and numbers nut like me. Today's addition of “Five Ravens stats that stand out,” the first since the Super Bowl, will feature tidbits from their 2013 almanac, but I highly recommend picking up a copy of it here...
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | December 11, 2013
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel highlights five stats that really mean something for the Ravens. 25 -- routes run out of the slot by Dennis Pitta on Sunday. Four months after injuring his hip, Pitta made his season debut in Sunday's win over the Minnesota Vikings and played 36 snaps. He had six catches for 48 yards on a team-high 11 targets and also scored. Pitta did most of the damage out of the slot, not as a traditional in-line tight end. Five of Pitta's receptions came as a slot receiver for 30 yards and that fourth-quarter touchdown.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2013
Corey Graham was the most effective Ravens cornerback after injuries to Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith pushed him into the starting lineup in 2012. In fact, Graham was actually one of the NFL's most effective, too. According to Football Outsiders, Graham allowed just 5.7 yards per pass attempt, which ranked fifth among NFL cornerbacks last season. Graham also ranked fifth in success rate, which is a statistic that Football Outsiders defines as “is the percentage of passes that don't manage to get at least 45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent of needed yards on second down, or 100 percent of needed yards on third down.” Wednesday, I asked Ravens secondary Teryl Austin how Graham did such a good job of limiting the damage.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | January 13, 2014
In Sunday's AFC championship game, two of the NFL's fastest teams -- in terms of what their offenses do between plays, not during -- will battle it out with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line. The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos both rank in the top five in the league in pace of play, according to Football Outsiders . Led by future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, those two high-scoring offenses often forgo a huddle and rush to the line of scrimmage to keep defenders on their heels, strand would-be substitutions on the sidelines, and sometimes limit what the defensive coordinators can call.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | July 11, 2013
We saw too little of what the Ravens were doing during offseason workouts to draw any conclusions about how new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell will tweak the offense. We will get a much better idea of that in a couple of weeks when training camp begins. But I'm guessing we could see more single-back formations. For one, the Ravens released All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach, the NFL's best blocking back, and replaced him with fourth-round pick Kyle Juszczyk, who was more of a receiving threat in college than a blocker.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | December 11, 2013
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel highlights five stats that really mean something for the Ravens. 25 -- routes run out of the slot by Dennis Pitta on Sunday. Four months after injuring his hip, Pitta made his season debut in Sunday's win over the Minnesota Vikings and played 36 snaps. He had six catches for 48 yards on a team-high 11 targets and also scored. Pitta did most of the damage out of the slot, not as a traditional in-line tight end. Five of Pitta's receptions came as a slot receiver for 30 yards and that fourth-quarter touchdown.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | November 6, 2013
Back in training camp, I wrote a story about how the Ravens had joined the growing trend in the NFL of using three-receiver sets . The Ravens used their 11 personnel -- one back, one tight end and three wide receivers -- on 43 percent of their snaps last season, up from 25 percent in 2011. Still, 22 teams used three-receiver sets more often, as 11 personnel was used on 51 percent of the NFL's plays last season. Their use of 11 personnel paid off in the playoffs, as eight of quarterback Joe Flacco's record-tying 11 postseason touchdown passes came when the Ravens had three wide receivers and a tight end on the field.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2013
For today's NFL offenses, three is a magic number. As quarterbacks throw more passes and point totals continue to rise, teams are keeping fullbacks and blocking tight ends on the sideline and using three wide receivers on more than half of their offensive plays. Even the Ravens, who for years ran a Stone Age offense, have embraced the evolution and last season often used a trio of wide-outs to spread the field for quarterback Joe Flacco. "I think today's game sets up well for that kind of stuff, which is playing at a high pace and letting those [wide receivers]
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | November 6, 2013
Back in training camp, I wrote a story about how the Ravens had joined the growing trend in the NFL of using three-receiver sets . The Ravens used their 11 personnel -- one back, one tight end and three wide receivers -- on 43 percent of their snaps last season, up from 25 percent in 2011. Still, 22 teams used three-receiver sets more often, as 11 personnel was used on 51 percent of the NFL's plays last season. Their use of 11 personnel paid off in the playoffs, as eight of quarterback Joe Flacco's record-tying 11 postseason touchdown passes came when the Ravens had three wide receivers and a tight end on the field.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2013
For today's NFL offenses, three is a magic number. As quarterbacks throw more passes and point totals continue to rise, teams are keeping fullbacks and blocking tight ends on the sideline and using three wide receivers on more than half of their offensive plays. Even the Ravens, who for years ran a Stone Age offense, have embraced the evolution and last season often used a trio of wide-outs to spread the field for quarterback Joe Flacco. "I think today's game sets up well for that kind of stuff, which is playing at a high pace and letting those [wide receivers]
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2013
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Ravens. The annual Football Outsiders Almanac arrived in my email inbox this morning, which felt like Christmas for a football and numbers nut like me. Today's addition of “Five Ravens stats that stand out,” the first since the Super Bowl, will feature tidbits from their 2013 almanac, but I highly recommend picking up a copy of it here...
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | July 11, 2013
We saw too little of what the Ravens were doing during offseason workouts to draw any conclusions about how new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell will tweak the offense. We will get a much better idea of that in a couple of weeks when training camp begins. But I'm guessing we could see more single-back formations. For one, the Ravens released All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach, the NFL's best blocking back, and replaced him with fourth-round pick Kyle Juszczyk, who was more of a receiving threat in college than a blocker.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2013
Corey Graham was the most effective Ravens cornerback after injuries to Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith pushed him into the starting lineup in 2012. In fact, Graham was actually one of the NFL's most effective, too. According to Football Outsiders, Graham allowed just 5.7 yards per pass attempt, which ranked fifth among NFL cornerbacks last season. Graham also ranked fifth in success rate, which is a statistic that Football Outsiders defines as “is the percentage of passes that don't manage to get at least 45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent of needed yards on second down, or 100 percent of needed yards on third down.” Wednesday, I asked Ravens secondary Teryl Austin how Graham did such a good job of limiting the damage.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | May 15, 2013
The Ravens could have as many as seven or eight new starters on defense when the 2013 season begins. You can produce a number of statistics that suggest why they may have felt compelled to overhaul their defense. Here is a good one: The Ravens whiffed on 87 tackles during the 2012 season, according to Football Outsiders. Aaron Schatz, who wrote about broken tackles in this recent post , explained that Football Outsiders define a broken tackle as one of two events: “either the ball-carrier escapes from the grasp of the defender, or the defender is in good position for a tackle but the ball-carrier jukes him out of his shoes.” Schatz added that “if the ball-carrier sped by a slow defender who dived and missed, that didn't count as a broken tackle.” Based on Football Outsiders' charting, done by more than two dozen people, only three NFL teams missed more tackles during the regular season.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | July 12, 2012
I recently chatted with Aaron Schatz, the editor-in-chief of Football Outsiders , for an upcoming story that has little, if anything, to do with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. But after we were done chatting about whatever it was that we were talking about -- you'll find out in a few days -- Schatz wanted to get a point in about Flacco. Earlier in the conversation, I had casually mentioned that most people believe that Flacco is above average . “I don't think it's accepted as conventional wisdom that he is above average,” Schatz later said, circling back to my comment.
SPORTS
By Matt Vensel | July 12, 2012
I recently chatted with Aaron Schatz, the editor-in-chief of Football Outsiders , for an upcoming story that has little, if anything, to do with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. But after we were done chatting about whatever it was that we were talking about -- you'll find out in a few days -- Schatz wanted to get a point in about Flacco. Earlier in the conversation, I had casually mentioned that most people believe that Flacco is above average . “I don't think it's accepted as conventional wisdom that he is above average,” Schatz later said, circling back to my comment.
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