By Matt Vensel
The Baltimore Sun
10:30 AM EDT, September 12, 2012
Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Ravens.
145.8 -- Joe Flacco’s passer rating on passes thrown beyond 15 yards Monday, per ESPN’s Stats and Info.
In completing 21 of 29 attempts for 299 yards in the 44-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the fourth-year Ravens quarterback averaged an impressive 10.3 yards per attempt (that 52-yard bomb to wide receiver Torrey Smith surely helped). Even more impressive was that he completed seven of his 10 attempts that traveled more than 15 yards for 194 yards and a touchdown; that’s excellent productivity on deep throws that are usually low-percentage. The Ravens also had eight different receivers with a least one reception of 10 or more yards. It was only one game, but it looks like the Ravens plan to turn Flacco loose this season. We all know about his arm strength, but if his deep accuracy really has improved, Flacco and their passing attack should take off.
4 -- carries between the tackles by Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy on Sunday, according to Pro Football Focus.
McCoy rushed for 110 yards on 20 carries in a 17-16 win over the Cleveland Browns, but he did most of his damage running to the outside, especially to his right. On his 16 carries outside of an offensive tackle, McCoy had 87 yards. Eleven of those carries were to the right, where he averaged 5.6 yards per carry. McCoy is quick and elusive, but he usually shows great patience while waiting for running lanes to open up. Assuming the Eagles stick with this script Sunday, there will be added pressure on starting outside linebackers Paul Kruger and Albert McClellan to set the edge. Those two combined for just three tackles against the Bengals.
100 -- the percentage of red-zone drives for the Ravens on Monday night that resulted in touchdowns. They went 3-for-3.
As I wrote during the preseason, the Ravens scored on all but five of their red-zone possessions in 2011 and finished fifth in overall red-zone scoring at 89.8 percent, but they scored just 25 touchdowns in 49 red-zone possessions and ranked 17th in touchdown percentage. The Ravens have to love their early returns in 2012. Ray Rice scored twice in Goal-to-go situations -- he got excellent blocks from fullback Vonta Leach and right guard Marshal Yanda on the first -- and Flacco lofted a beautiful tight end fade to Dennis Pitta. Fun fact: the past eight Super Bowl champions scored TDs on at least 54 percent of their red-zone possessions.
8.66 -- Michael Vick’s career sack rate, which is the fourth-highest among active quarterbacks, per Pro Football Reference.
Ravens pass rushers will get a chance to pad their stats this weekend. Vick’s scrambling ability and the leeway he is given to freelance in and out of the pocket no doubt inflate his sack rate, but among starting quarterbacks, only Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger is sacked more often than Vick when dropping back to pass. As a comparison, Peyton Manning is the active leader in sack rate at 3.12 percent followed by Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, and Carson Palmer. In last Sunday’s win, Vick often tentatively danced deep in the pocket when he wasn’t rolling on a bootleg -- usually to his left. No wonder he was sacked twice and hit 14 times.
14 -- tackles for linebacker Ray Lewis on Monday, his highest total since an overtime win over Buffalo on October 24, 2010.
Have you heard that Ray Lewis slimmed down this summer, that he rode his bike a lot and drank vegetable juice like a teenager consumes Coca-Cola? Monday, it looked to have paid off. Lewis was all over the place, recording 11 solo tackles and forcing a fumble on a sack of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. According to Pro Football Focus, he dropped into coverage on 36 of his 63 snaps. The Eagles, with McCoy and wideouts DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, have plenty of speed to burn and a quality pass-catching tight end in Brent Celek, so Lewis and Co. must tackle well as one miss could result in seven points for the Eagles.
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.
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