Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel highlights five stats that really mean something for the Ravens.
138 — yards that Joe Flacco’s dropped passes this season have traveled through the air.
We know Joe Flacco has watched his receivers drop a bunch of passes — 10, in fact, tied for ninth most in the NFL. But how have those drops impacted his yardage total? Collectively, the passes Ravens receivers have dropped have traveled 138 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Only New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had more yards in the air on dropped passes. So that means Flacco would actually have at least 1,229 passing yards — not to mention two or three fewer interceptions — if his receivers had held on to every ball. Thanks to loyal reader Andy Hanes for passing this stat along.
Nine — running plays for the Ravens on Sunday.
With his running attack again running in place Sunday, coach John Harbaugh made the decision to abandon the ground game in a 23-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills. At one point, the Ravens asked Flacco to drop back and pass on 31 straight plays before giving the ball to running back Ray Rice a couple of times late in the fourth quarter. The Raven finished with nine running plays, the fewest in franchise history. Only five teams have attempted more passes this season than the Ravens, with 169.
223 — yards allowed by Lardarius Webb in coverage.
Before injuring his thigh Sunday, cornerback Lardarius Webb had been beaten twice in coverage for two catches for 45 yards. Webb was one defensive back who played well in the Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos, but has since struggled. Webb, who may still be feeling the effects of the knee injury that ended his 2012 season, has allowed 15 receptions on 22 targets for 223 yards this season, according to Pro Football Focus. Opposing quarterbacks have a 101.1 passer rating when targeting him.
Four — straight games with a sack for Terrell Suggs.
T-Sizzle did it again Sunday, bringing down Bills quarterback EJ Manuel for his fourth sack of the season. Suggs, who looks like his old self after an injury-marred 2012 season, has had one sack in each of the team’s first four games this season. If he gets one Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, he will find another way to get his name into the Ravens record book. Adalius Thomas (1996) and Paul Kruger (2012) are the only players in franchise history to record at least one sack in five straight games.
Seven — interceptions thrown by Flacco this season.
The Ravens quarterback threw five interceptions against the Bills, a single-game career high. He has now thrown seven in his first four games, already putting him within five interceptions of his single-season high. But where does Flacco’s turnover-filled first quarter of 2013 rank historically? According to Elias Sports Bureau, his seven interceptions are tied for the second most through the first four games by a defending Super Bowl Most Valuable Player. Bart Starr has the most all time, with nine in 1967.
Bloggers note: Have a nifty stat you want to share? E-mail me at email@example.com or tweet at me at @mattvensel. If I use it, I’ll be sure to give you a nice plug on the blog.