(Note: Cliff Notes are at the end, along with the Chart)
We stayed in a 3-4 for the majority of the game. Blackmon and Nacho were the safeties with Blackmon lining up to the side with more wide receivers:
and Nacho lining up to the side with more tight ends:
We occasionally lined up with new lines on passing downs, this line consisted of Smith-Murphy-Garvin(linebacker, standing up) and Kerrigan:
Norman and Dunbar were the starters at corner with Toler backing both of them up. Fuller was our Nickel/Slot cornerback. Whitner was our “Dime” defensive back, he came in on passing downs to cover tight ends. Garvin (52) played the role of Su’a Cravens as the linebacker who replaced Foster on passing downs.
Baltimore spent most of the first drive running it away from our Safety in the box (Blackmon/Nacho) and towards Dunbar’s gap. Our defensive end had contain while Dunbar had to cover gaps inside:
Dunbar gets to handle an Iso block from the fullback and is out of his element:
They tried to attack Dunbar’s gap again in the 3rd quarter, again the defensive end has contain while Dunbar is playing the gap denoted by the yellow line:
But we adjusted by slanting the line towards the gap:
They tried the same scheme again versus Toler (who split time with Dunbar opposite Norman):
They run it away from Blackmon and towards Toler:
We hold it to a minimal gain. Our corners didn’t display the best run stopping techniques but they did enough after the 1st drive to mitigate damage and stop the Ravens’ game plan which was to run it into our corners. That probably sounds familiar.
Play Action: This wasn’t play action per se, but it was the big shot down field attached to all these runs:
Power: Baltimore tried to install some runs where they pull the guard and establish a double team play-side:
but, unlike against the Giants and Browns, we were ready and responded by slanting our line away from the puller and double team. The offensive line had a hard time figuring out who to block and we blew up the play for a loss. Murphy gets a nice swim move past the tight end, dodges the pulling guard and makes the tackle:
+2 for you, Sir.
Btw, the tight end Murphy swam past was Crockett Gillmore (80) and that guy is no joke. He was working Kerrigan and dwarf planet Cullen Jenkins.
Baltimore tried pulling their front again, this time with Counter action:
and we carried over our adjustment from last week against Cleveland:
- The Safety is in the box
- We slant the line
- Loop Compton around
this way, Compton isn’t asked to make multiple reads before he can pursue. We simplify his reads and let him attack. Huge difference:
Cover 0 blitz: If there was one play that captured the pathos of this game, I mean:
it’s 3rd and 9 and Coach Barry is blitzing both safeties. We’re saying we aint scurred of Joe Flacco and the Ravens respond…with a run. Even with Steve Smith out, that is a sad endorsement of your franchise quarterback.
Chris Baker had a day against the run. He held up to doubles and showed he can be a true nose guard for us. Also, one on one he’s a problem:
Versus Guard Marshal Yanda–PFF’s #1 ranked Guard in 2015–he was able to penetrate, disengage and get in on the tackle:
Trent Murphy‘s game against the run was shown earlier, but he also wreaked havoc against the pass. He has a move where he can run a slant, knife in sideways, and take a double team with him. This design sacrifices Murphy so he can free up Garvin on a delayed blitz. But, Murphy found a way to also get through:
It’s safe to say Murphy has taken a step forward this year. Even when Kerrigan is 100%, he and Preston Smith will have to share plenty of snaps. Preston Smith‘s high pass grade didn’t just come from pressuring the quarterback. He displayed good flat zone coverage, tipped a pass and made open field tackles. Ziggy Hood continued to struggle holding up against the run but his move outside to 5 technique helped him generate a more noticeable pass rush:
Mason Foster picked up 5 of his pluses against the pass from his underneath coverage. Screens, slants, flats, he had it all covered and didn’t miss any tackles. Versus the run he was able to play fast thanks to conservative and predictable play calling. On the first play of the 10th drive, Baltimore ripped off a 27 yard run. Two plays later they lined up in the same exact formation and Foster was able to recognize it was the same play:
Terrance Garvin was tasked with a ton of pass responsibility , he got fooled once on the last drive–I was surprised they put him in there given his lack of playing time–but overall he held up ok. Will Compton got a +2 for the big hit on the last play of the game that gave Mike Wallace alligator arms. He also blew up a screen play, shades of Chicago last year. As mentioned earlier, his run reads were simplified which allowed him to be in position to stop the run more consistently.
Ihenacho was in the box for most of the game and he was able to make a guy go down when he wrapped his arms around him. That has been sorely lacking all year. Despite the signing of Whitner, I think Nacho has locked down the starting Strong Safety spot heading into next week.
- Even with 8 in the box, and Breeland out, our coverage finished out positive (+8 on the day.) Moose and Aikman continue to call out offenses for not testing Dunbar, but his coverage has held up. Toler got beat deep on an overthrow from Flacco, that most likely got him firmly slotted 4th on the depth chart behind Norman, Breeland and now Dunbar.
- Murphy and Nacho strengthened our front against the run.
- Murphy has really come on as a pass rusher and Hood showed some moves at 5 technique. If and when Kerrigan fully heals, we should have 4-5 bonafide pass rushers to get after it. FWIW pressure metric graded out +13(!) in this game.
- They tried testing our Corners in the run game. They got off a 35 yard run on their opening drive. After that we adjusted with line slants and took that option away. Trestman didn’t have a response. If you take away that opening drive, their rushing total dwindles to 70 yards.
- Trestman’s play calling mirrored the predictability of Chip Kelly’s play calling last year. It was a big reason for Foster and Compton’s big days.
- Barry is playing chess out there, only allowing a two week total of 3 second half points
Chart (table not formatting properly so it’s a link.)