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Best And Worst Ravens Grades vs. Dolphins

Posted Oct 8, 2013

A complete breakdown of the Ravens' grades by position, highlighting key players' individual marks.

The Ravens picked up their first road win of the season Sunday in Miami, taking down the Dolphins 26-23.

Here’s a closer look at some of the grades from the statistical analysis website Pro Football Focus:

Note: PFF grades each individual player on every snap using a value between 2.0 and -2.0, with increments of 0.5. The average of most plays is 0. Those scores are then added together for an overall score for each player. Every overall score that is positive is considered a favorable game, and any game over 1.0 is particularly strong. For comparison, Peyton Manning threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys this week and received a PFF grade of 3.2. In order to get the grades for each position group, the total scores for every player are added together to come up with a total grade for the group.

In their assessment, Pro Football Focus grades the result of every play. The service says that “we firmly believe that we are more than 90 percent accurate in our grading of individual plays… We are grading what happened, and it is safe to assume that in the vast majority of cases the assignments carried out were the assignments called on that play.” The Ravens coaching staff could have different grades based on the plays calls and assignments.

Top Three Grades

ILB Josh Bynes (2.8)
CB Lardarius Webb (2.5)
OLB Elvis Dumervil (2.1)

Bottom Three Grades

LG A.Q. Shipley (-6.6)
LT Bryant McKinnie (-5.9)
FB Vonta Leach (-2.5)

Offensive Line (-13.4)

Veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie struggled against Miami and ended up with a -5.9 grade from PFF. The veteran left tackle had problems in both run and pass blocking. The lowest grade on the offensive line actually went to A.Q. Shipley (-6.6), who took over at left guard when Kelechi Osemele left the game with back spasms. Center Gino Gradkowski (-2.1) and even Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda (-0.5) did not receive favorable grades.

While the left side of the line struggled, right tackle Michael Oher (2.6) had a good day, especially as a run blocker. The fifth-year tackle received the highest grade of any player on the offense, and his run blocking led the way. The Ravens averaged 6.1 yards per carry (10 carries, 61 yards) when they ran behind Oher or on either side of him. The win over Miami was Oher’s best performance of the season, according to PFF.

Quarterback ( 1.5)

The statistical output from quarterback Joe Flacco Sunday was fairly pedestrian, but PFF’s breakdown shows that Flacco had a solid day delivering big throws in the face of pressure. Flacco earned a 1.5 grade, which made him one of three offensive players with a mark over 1.0. Flacco earned positive grades when he was under pressure and when he had time to throw. He was at his best throwing intermediate routes over the middle of the field, completing six passes for 120 yards on throws between hash marks and between 10-19 yards.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends ( 1.5)

Led by Torrey Smith (1.3), the receivers had a solid day against Miami. Despite being short staffed with only three healthy wideouts, Smith, Tandon Doss (0.5) and Deonte Thompson (-0.4) were still able to find holes in the secondary and pick up first downs.

Tight end Ed Dickson had an improved day in the passing game (1.0), but struggled as a run blocker (-1.9). Dallas Clark did not have a catch on the day, but his contributions went under the radar and he finished with a positive overall grade (0.9).

Running Backs/Fullbacks (-6.6)

The running game racked up two touchdowns and a season-high 133 rushing yards on 40 carries, but the running backs still did not earn a favorable grade from PFF. Running backs Ray Rice (-2.0) and Bernard Pierce (-2.0) and fullback Vonta Leach (-2.5) all received negative grades. The backs’ grades were hurt by their fumbles and for not breaking tackles.

Outside Linebackers ( 5.0)

The outside linebackers led the way for the defense, as Elvis Dumervil (2.1) and Terrell Suggs (1.5) both had impressive games. Pernell McPhee (1.7) also had a strong day, notching his first sack of the season. Suggs drew plenty of praise after his three critical sacks in the fourth quarter, but he was actually better in run defense than pass rushing. Overall, the Ravens pass rush notched six sacks, one quarterback hit and 12 hurries, meaning that Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was pressured on 19 of his 47 dropbacks.   

Inside Linebackers ( 5.3)

The entire linebacker corps had a good day against Miami, as inside linebacker Josh Bynes (2.8) received the best overall grade on the team. Veteran Daryl Smith (0.9) and rookie Arthur Brown (1.6) also had positive grades on the day, helping force the Dolphins to abandon the run in the second half.

Secondary (-2.2)

The overall secondary earned a low grade on the day, but top cornerback Lardarius Webb (2.5) was of the best players of the group. The Dolphins threw Webb’s direction nine times, but he allowed just four completions for 33 yards. Safety James Ihedigbo (-1.9) had a tougher day and received the lowest grade on defense.

Defensive Line ( 1.8)

The big bodies up front had a good day for the defense, with Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata (1.1) leading the way. Arthur Jones (0.4) and defensive end Chris Canty (1.0) also had solid games for the defense. The defensive line generated four quarterback hurries and one quarterback hit, and was also critical in shutting down the run. 

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