Thursday, November 26, 2020

Intelligent Conversation

Five numbers behind Ravens' 23-21 win over Cleveland

Must Read

Maryland handles Old Dominion in season opener 85-67

Eric Ayala led the way with 19 points and five rebounds for the Terps, who won their 44th consecutive home opener.

Campbell, Mekari, Skura become latest Ravens added to reserve-COVID-19 list

Defensive end Calais Campbell's status was already in doubt due to the calf injury that's sidelined him since Week 9.

“Expect the unexpected” strikes different tone with Ravens-Steelers game moved to Sunday

For a Ravens-Steelers rivalry in which we always say to "expect the unexpected," the expression hit a different tone...
Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

After every Ravens game this season, we’ll take a look at five numbers that help explain the outcome …
2 — The number of field goals missed by former Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff
Skinny: The Ravens were fortunate to come away with a win in Cleveland, and they can thank their former kicker for another wide-left try that brought back a not-so-pleasant memory. Cundiff’s second kick was blocked by Asa Jackson, but the Ravens defensive back acknowledged after the game that the attempt came out lower than normal. Both sides made mistakes that could have cost them the game, but Cundiff’s fourth-quarter misses were pivotal in keeping the Ravens within striking distance.
3 — The number of incompletions thrown by Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer on the final two drives
Skinny: Overall, it was a brutal day for the Ravens secondary as Hoyer completed 19 of 25 passes for 290 yards and a touchdown, but three of those six incompletions came on the Browns’ final two drives of the game when they simply needed some first downs to run out the clock. Instead, the Browns went three-and-out each time and the Ravens finally cashed in on their final drive to set up a game-winning 32-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. As poorly as the defense played for long stretches of Sunday’s game, the group was able to come up with two big stops when the Ravens needed them.

3.1 — The yards per carry allowed by the Ravens defense
Skinny: Baltimore’s outside linebackers still need to do a more consistent job of setting the edge, but a stout Cleveland running game found little room to work save for a handful of plays. Even though Hoyer played well, the Browns would have likely been able to put the game away had they ran with any consistency. Over Cleveland’s final two offensive drives, the Ravens gave up six rushing yards on three carries and forced two punts to keep their hopes alive. The front seven may not be getting enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but playing the run hasn’t been too large of a problem through three weeks.

75 — The number of receiving yards produced by Steve Smith in the fourth quarter
Skinny: Through three quarters, the 35-year-old wide receiver had caught just one pass for 26 yards on three targets, but that changed when Joe Flacco began looking his way often in the final 15 minutes. Targeted four times in the fourth quarter, Smith made four receptions and was the only receiver the Ravens quarterback trusted in crunch time. With Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones struggling to get acclimated in Gary Kubiak’s offense and Dennis Pitta exiting in the second quarter, Steve Smith’s ability to beat Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden for the 32-yard reception on the final drive was obviously the biggest play of the game.

157 — The number of rushing yards reached by the Baltimore offense for the second straight week
Skinny: The Ravens finished with 160 yards on 33 attempts, but hitting the 157-yard plateau in two straight games illustrates how far the running game has come under Kubiak. Baltimore ran for that many yards in a game just once (against Chicago) all last year, but a productive running game makes Flacco that much more efficient when he goes to the air. The Cleveland rush defense has been a mess this season, but it was nice to see the Ravens commit to the run despite starter Bernard Pierce being out and they learned Lorenzo Taliaferro can be a major contributor sooner rather than later.

Latest News

Maryland handles Old Dominion in season opener 85-67

Eric Ayala led the way with 19 points and five rebounds for the Terps, who won their 44th consecutive home opener.

Campbell, Mekari, Skura become latest Ravens added to reserve-COVID-19 list

Defensive end Calais Campbell's status was already in doubt due to the calf injury that's sidelined him since Week 9.

“Expect the unexpected” strikes different tone with Ravens-Steelers game moved to Sunday

For a Ravens-Steelers rivalry in which we always say to "expect the unexpected," the expression hit a different tone this week due to Baltimore's...

Attempting to explain how the Pittsburgh Steelers are still undefeated

Will Graves of The Associated Press in Pittsburgh says there's plenty of Thanksgiving with yins in the Steel City as Roethlisberger and Tomlin want seconds with a depleted Ravens unit.

Our favorite Hall of Famer discusses COVID effect on Ravens and how defenses attack Lamar

Hall of Famer Rod Woodson catches up with Nestor on about his passion for teaching the game of football around the world. And the weirdness of being stuck in middle of the Baltimore and Pittsburgh rivalry.

More Articles Like This