The Ravens travel to Arizona Monday for another primetime road game, and do so carrying the weight of 1-5 on their shoulders. Despite a loss Sunday at Pittsburgh, the Cardinals are flying high. Here are five stats that stand out ahead of the game, including notes on the big-play potential these teams bring, and the Ravens defensive and offensive line success.
> 3.6 – Amid all the offense's struggles this year, the offensive line has grown into the bright spot it was supposed to be after a rocky start to the season. The team's adjusted sack rate, which weights the situation and accounts for how many dropbacks quarterback Joe Flacco makes, is 3.6 percent. That's the third-best rate in the NFL. Flacco has dropped back a lot as they've chased down opponents late in games, and while he's becoming a bit interception-prone, he's getting enough time to throw and doing a good job feeling the pressure that does come. That should continue this week against an Arizona defense that ranks near the bottom of the league with nine sacks in six games.
> 27: Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer is tied for the NFL lead with Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton with 27 completions of 20 or more yards this season, with three going for touchdowns. The Ravens have allowed the third-most completions of 20-plus yards (25), and are tied for the NFL lead with six touchdowns allowed on such passes. For a defense that has had trouble stopping big plays in the passing game, the Cardinals offense could spell big problems with Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John Brown potentially causing matchup problems.
> 41.7: If I'm playing the Ravens on the first drive of a game or the second half, I'm triple-teaming fullback Kyle Juszczyk on the first play. He's caught passes on the Ravens' first play of a half in five of 12 halves this season, good for 41.7 percent and accounting for five of his 13 catches on the season. It's a good way to ensure a positive play and let quarterback Joe Flacco get into a rhythm, but when teams catch onto his proclivity to look underneath later in the game as the Cleveland Browns did, it could be tough to get him the ball. That might start on the first play now.
> -0.16: The Ravens run defense is stout as ever, but one particular stat from Football Outsides shows it. Opposing teams are averaging a loss of .16 yards per carry when running off the left side of the offensive line (and at the right side of the Ravens defensive front). That's the best rate in the league. For most of the season, Timmy Jernigan and Carl Davis have occupied that spot. It's also a credit to the outside linebackers, including Elvis Dumervil, who set the edge and funnel runs back into the big bodies in the middle.
> 37.7: Joe Flacco's passer rating is a decently respectable 80.1, but his QBR, which applies more game context to rating quarterbacks, is 37.7, which ranks 28th among qualifying NFL quarterbacks. He's on pace for a career-high 4,280 yards, but has almost as many interceptions as touchdowns has delivered only once in many chances late in close games. QBR distinguishes the empty production from the meaningful stuff, and in the latter, Flacco just isn't measuring up. By comparison, Palmer's QBR is 79.6, fourth-best in the NFL.