Every Monday, I'll unpack the stats behind the previous day's Ravens game. If the day after the game is anything like yesterday was, I think we'll opt for Tuesday. And if the team plays on Thursday, it will likely be Friday. But I swear that most weeks, it will be Monday. All stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.
The Ravens used their first three picks on defensive players expected to help the overall speed on that side of the ball, but only first-round pick C.J. Mosley saw much of the field. Mosley, an inside linebacker, played all 67 snaps alongside veteran Daryl Smith. Even as part of an undermanned offensive line, second-round defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan was on the field for just 17 snaps, with DeAngelo Tyson (27 snaps) instead deputizing for Chris Canty (36 snaps), Haloti Ngata (49 snaps), and Brandon Williams (22 snaps). Safety Terrence Brooks was only on the field during special teams. The third-round pick didn't play a single snap on defense.
Dalton—the pass-rush cooler
My story yesterday was on the Ravens' containment strategy for Bengals' wide receiver A.J. Green and the team's other deep threats. The Ravens basically conceded the short passing game to ensure the one, and with good reason. One big play ultimately lost them the game. But PFF's breakdown of Andy Dalton's day shows how it ultimately worked. Dalton threw just five passes longer than 10 yards downfield in the air. 16 of his 25 completions went for less than 10 yards, and seven of his 39 passes were deeper than 10 yards in the air, according to PFF. The Ravens believe the quick releases were designed to neutralize the Ravens' pass rush, and set up the game-winning deep ball.
Jimmy the best Smith
Jimmy Smith didn't' shadow Green for the entire game, but he was effective as a shutdown corner no matter whom he lined up against. Smith targeted five times, for three completions and 14 yards. His opposite number, Chykie Brown, was targeted 10 times for six catches and 138 yards, which is skewed by the big play that can't be ignored either way. Asa Jackson, the nickel cornerback in the absence of Lardarius Webb, was thrown at seven times for six completions and 27 yards. Smith's performance was a bright spot on the defense.
Will someone check on Juice?
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk was on the field for just 18 of 88 plays—nine rushes and nine passes—and was targeted just once in the passing game. When he was in, he contributed to the running game, but didn't haul in his only. Juszczyk said Monday that it was simply a symptom of the team having too many weapons, but after leading the team in catches in the preseason, I expected a bigger role for Juszczyk.
One of those weapons is...
Wide receiver Kamar Aiken, who had a reception on one-third of his 12 snaps and ended up tied for fourth on the team in catches. Aiken being active signaled him being above Deonte Thompson and Michael Campanaro, and his out-performing of second-year man Marlon Brown might make it so he's above him too, before long. Brown was credited with a target in the game book, but I never saw it. He played 40 snaps.