Film study of the Ravens' 20-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday
By By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun|
Oct 07, 2014 | 9:03 PM
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said turnovers and lack of execution contributed to the loss against the Indianapolis Colts. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun)
GAME PLAN: The Ravens regressed offensively despite a concerted effort to spread the football around in the passing game. Trailing on the scoreboard and dealing with frequent pass-protection breakdowns, their reaction was to throw more instead of trying to pound the football on the ground. With Joe Flacco under duress, Gary Kubiak was unable to execute his strategy. A litany of failures on third down — they went 1-for-11 for a 9-percent conversion rate — prevented drives from getting untracked. That created frustration for the offense, and fatigue for the defense. The Ravens ran the football a season-low 15 times for 90 yards. Dean Pees used a heavy defensive line rotation and utilized his safety personnel liberally to try to make up for being shorthanded at cornerback after Asa Jackson injured his foot.
PERSONNEL: With Chris Canty sidelined after undergoing wrist surgery and Timmy Jernigan out with a meniscus injury, DeAngelo Tyson received more time on the field. Tyson, who started in place of Canty, played 38 snaps, while outside linebacker Pernell McPhee primarily played with his hand in the ground for 34 snaps, and Lawrence Guy playing a season-high 22 snaps. The defensive ironmen, with 100 percent of the snaps, were linebackers C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith. Jimmy Smith and Darian Stewart missed only two and five snaps, respectively. Terrell Suggs played 82 percent of the snaps, and Haloti Ngata was in for 74 percent. Rookie safety Terrence Brooks and Lardarius Webb played a season-high 44 snaps apiece. Nose tackle Brandon Williams played 51 snaps. Owen Daniels played all but two of the offensive snaps. Justin Forsett saw the bulk of the workload at running back with 43 snaps as Lorenzo Taliaferro (nine snaps) and Bernard Pierce (six snaps) saw limited action. Marlon Brown has supplanted Jacoby Jones as the third receiver. Brown was on the field for 30 snaps, while Jones played just eight offensive snaps.
WHAT WENT RIGHT ON OFFENSE: Forsett provided versatility and moves, making the most of his touches as he rushed for 42 yards and the Ravens' lone touchdown to average 7 yards on six carries. He slipped out of the backfield as a safety valve, catching a team-high seven passes for 55 yards on eight targets. Daniels remains a reliable presence, catching five passes for 70 yards on seven targets. When Pierce entered the game, he went up the middle for two first downs and showed no signs of a lingering quadriceps injury. After dropping five passes in the first four games, Jones caught a 30-yard pass on his lone target for the Ravens' longest offensive play of the game. Flacco emerged unhurt despite being hit hard and often. Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele routinely opened up holes up the middle.
WHAT WENT WRONG ON OFFENSE: One week after an emotional game in which he dominated his former team, Steve Smith fumbled on the Ravens' first play from scrimmage. He caught only five passes for 34 yards. Undrafted rookie left tackle James Hurst struggled mightily in pass protection, allowing three sacks, three quarterback hurries and a quarterback hit. Flacco was sacked four times and hit six times. When pressured, Flacco completed only two of 10 throws. He didn't make a good read on his lone interception, picked off by underrated Colts cornerback Vontae Davis. The Ravens were 0-for-3 on deep throws, including Torrey Smith dropping an accurate fourth-down attempt that ended a last-ditch comeback attempt. Smith had three catches for 38 yards on eight targets and dropped two passes. Jones muffed a punt that he badly misjudged.
WHAT WENT RIGHT ON DEFENSE: Mosley excelled in pursuit, making a game-high 14 tackles. He reacted instinctively for his first NFL interception. He adeptly shot through a gap on a blitz to strike the Colts' Andrew Luck. One of the NFL's top quarterbacks, Luck needed 49 passes to reach 312 yards and was intercepted twice. Jimmy Smith shadowed receivers so well that only one pass was completed in his direction. Matt Elam forced a fumble, ripping the football away from Ahmad Bradshaw to give the Ravens a potential opportunity to tie the game. Courtney Upshaw had a solid game, moving well to track down plays in the open field. Brooks is starting to look comfortable in coverage. McPhee is a natural pass rusher wherever he lines up, and he is too quick for most interior offensive linemen. He notched his first sack of the year.
WHAT WENT WRONG ON DEFENSE: Luck repeatedly went after and succeeded against Webb. Although Webb moved better and had no setbacks to his lower back, he couldn't break on the ball quickly enough to prevent Luck from piling up seven completions on 10 targets for 91 yards. Webb allowed six first downs, including four on out patterns. Suggs got penetration, but he didn't finish plays. He looked sluggish at times and is noticeably heavier in the midsection than when he reported in July. He had two inconsequential tackles. Mosley missed three tackles and allowed a touchdown pass to Dwayne Allen. Deploying Elvis Dumervil in pass coverage isn't a sound idea. It's not his forte and takes him away from his strong suit: rushing the passer. Dumervil had one tackle and two quarterback hits.
KEY PLAY: Already leading, 13-6, Luck scrambled up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. It looked like an obvious infraction was overlooked when Dumervil was clearly held as he tried to chase down Luck. The touchdown boosted the Colts' lead to a commanding 20-6.
BEST HIT: Besides busting through a double-team blocking attempt by tackle Jamon Meredith and tight end Jack Doyle to stuff Bradshaw on fourth down for a no gain, Mosley sprinted into the backfield to deliver a punishing shot on Luck.The impact of his hit popped the football into the air with Ngata intercepting the disrupted throw.
GAME BALLS: 1. Mosley (14 tackles, one interception, two quarterback hits); 2. Forsett (97 all-purpose yards); 3. Ngata (Intercepted the fifth pass of his career); 4. Justin Tucker (connected on 52-yard field goal).
INTANGIBLES: The Ravens didn't look particularly sharp or focused despite the chance to separate themselves in the AFC. Against a tougher opponent, their intensity and execution didn't approach the level from the previous week during a 38-10 win over the Carolina Panthers.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' shoddy record shouldn't make you think they have no talent on their roster. Quarterback Mike Glennon has a strong arm. Wide receiver Vincent Jackson is an imposing downfield target. Former Ravens running back Bobby Rainey is a dangerous all-purpose threat. And Lavonte David is one of the most athletic linebackers in the NFL.