Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Ravens.
17.3 -- percentage of snaps in 2012 for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in which he attempted a deep throw.
According to Pro Football Focus, Joe Flacco threw the ball downfield more often than any quarterback in the NFL, with 17.3 percent of his throws traveling 20 or more yards. And the Ravens set a new franchise record with 41 completions of 25-plus yards. But you can cherry-pick stats on either side of the spectrum to say whether all those deep throws were a good thing or a bad thing. Pro Football Focus says that on those deep throws, he threw 11 touchdowns, tied for most in the NFL, and was the only qualifying quarterback with zero interceptions. But according to ESPN Stats and Info, Flacco had the NFL's worst completion percentage (40.1) on throws of more than 10 yards downfield through Week 14, when Cam Cameron was fired. Maybe it is a coincidence, but it appears that the Ravens might have felt that Flacco was going deep a little too often. Flacco’s average yards per target is 7.6 yards downfield under Jim Caldwell, down from 9.8 under Cameron. Will that trend continue?
299.0 -- yards allowed per game by the Ravens since Week 12.
Despite a long list of injuries -- only safety Ed Reed and cornerback Cary Williams started all 16 games -- the Ravens defense actually finished in the middle of the pack in yards allowed this season. They gave up an average of 350.9, which ranked 17th in the NFL. Those numbers dipped thanks to a strong finish, even if it didn't show up in the standings. Over their final six games, the Ravens allowed 299.0 yards per game, the NFL's fourth-fewest average since Week 12. But we will see if the Ravens can remain stingy in the postseason. Four AFC playoff teams (New England, Denver, Houston and Indianapolis) rank in the top 10 in total offense.
12.1 -- Paul Kruger’s pass rushing productivity rating in 2012.
Paul Kruger is entering the playoffs after the most productive eight-game stretch of his four years in the NFL. Kruger, who has a career-high and team-leading nine sacks this season, has 7.5 sacks in the past eight games. Overall, he has 42 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The guys over at Pro Football Focus have credited Kruger with 54 total pressures, which include sacks, quarterback hits and hurries. That total is the fourth-highest among 3-4 outside linebackers, trailing Aldon Smith, Ryan Kerrigan and DeMarcus Ware. But Kruger's pass rushing productivity rating is 12.1 -- best at his position, according to PFF.
5.83 -- yards per carry allowed by the Colts since Week 12.
The Colts have won five of their past six games despite allowing nearly 5.83 yards per carry over that span, inflating their season average to 5.14, the second-highest in the NFL behind only the New Orleans Saints. In five of those games, the Colts allowed more than 100 rushing yards, including 352 on 44 carries in a Week 16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. That's good news for a Ravens rushing attack that has picked up steam the past two weeks. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce each topped 100 yards as the Ravens rushed for 224 against the New York Giants. Pierce led the way as the Ravens rushed for 206 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
25 -- interceptions that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck would have thrown had defenders caught every pass thrown their way.
Rookie Andrew Luck has met the hype. With 4,374 passing yards and 28 total touchdowns (23 passing and five rushing), he is one of the leading candidates for NFL Rookie of the Year award. And considering that the Colts went from 2-14 to 11-5, maybe he should be an MVP candidate, as well. He has made mistakes, though. He has been intercepted 18 times, one fewer than league leaders Drew Brees and Tony Romo. And Luck has had an NFL-high seven potential interceptions dropped by defenders, according to ESPN Stats and Info. By the way, they also say that the Ravens have dropped only one interception this year.
Bloggers note: Have a nifty stat you want to share? E-mail me at email@example.com or contact me on Twitter at @mattvensel. If I end up using it, I’ll be sure to give you a nice plug on the blog.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun