Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel highlights five stats that really mean something for the Ravens.
Four -- kickers who have made a go-ahead field goal from 60-plus yards in the final minute of a game.
Justin Tucker set a franchise record when he made a 61-yard field goal with 38 seconds left in Monday's 18-16 win in Detroit. How rare was his game-winning kick? According to Elias Sports Bureau, only three other kickers in NFL history have hit a go-ahead field goal of 60 or more yards in the final minute of the fourth quarter. Tom Dempsey of the 1970 Saints hit one from 63 yards. Matt Bryant of the 2006 Buccaneers was good from 62. And Rob Bironas of the 2006 Titans split the uprights from 60. Tucker made six field goals on the night and his 248 total yards on field goals was the fourth-highest total in a game in NFL history.
Suggs has been quiet as a pass rusher in recent weeks -- he hasn't recorded a sack since Week 9 -- but he had still made an impact as a run defender before the win over the Lions. In that game, he could not set the edge on Lions running back Reggie Bush’s first-quarter touchdown and he didn’t record a single tackle throughout the game. It was the first time since a win over the Houston Texans in October 2011 that Suggs did not bring a ballcarrier down. Suggs also had just two quarterback hurries, according to Pro Football Focus, and no quarterback hits. Those two pressures were tied for his lowest total of the season to date.
There was concern about how the interior of the Baltimore offensive line would hold up against these two Detroit defensive tackles, who have generated a lot of pressure on quarterbacks this year. Entering Monday's game, Suh had recorded 5.5 sacks and generated 62 total pressures, second among NFL defensive tackles to only Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy, according to Pro Football Focus. With 3.5 sacks and 31 total pressures, Fairley was no slouch either. But the Ravens were able to keep them away from Joe Flacco as they twisted and stunted while trying to bully their way into the backfield. Each was credited with just one quarterback hit and one hurry.
On the first snap on Monday’s game, Smith sought out the star wide receiver and lined up across from him, something he would do for the majority of the snaps. Johnson had a productive day with six catches for 98 yards, but he did not do much damage when Smith was covering him. According to Pro Football Focus, the Ravens cornerback limited Johnson to three catches for just 29 yards on seven targets. The rest of Johnson’s production came against strong safety James Ihedigbo.
Nine -- Ravens games decided by three points or fewer.
The Ravens played in yet another close game Monday. No team has played in more games decided by three points or less this season than the Ravens, who have played nine of them so far. After going 2-4 in their first six such games, they have now won three in a row. Only the New England Patriots have won more games decided by three points or less. They have played in seven such games, winning six of them. So yeah, make sure you take your heart medication before Sunday’s game.
Bloggers note: Have a stat you want to share? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at me at @mattvensel. If I use it, I’ll be sure to give you a nice plug on the blog.