It was a brutal loss of the Ravens last Sunday. Lets review the WPA Graph and see where things went right and where things went wrong. The graph is supplied by NFL Advanced Stats and the annotations are our own. The events describing the annotations are detailed in the table below. For a review on how to read WPA graphs please see our reader’s guide.
|Annotation||Quarter/Time||Score: SEA – BAL||Play Description|
|1||Q1 – 12:28||0 – 0||David Reed runs for 16 yards down to SEA 37.|
|2||Q1 – 8:10||7 – 0||David Reed fumbles first kickoff.|
|3||Q2 – 9:15||10 – 7||Ray Rices throws 1 yard touchdown pass to Ed Dickson.|
|4||Q2 – 1:55||10 – 7||David Reed fumbles second kickoff.|
|5||Q3 – 14:13||19 – 7||Joe Flacco’s pass to Anquan Boldin intercepted by Hawthorne. Joe Flacco called for horse collar tackle on the interception return.|
|6||Q4 – 5:57||22 – 17||Joe Flacco throws 11 yard youchdown pass to Ed Dickson.|
|7||Q4 – 3:10||22 – 17||Tavaris Jackson passes to Marshawn Lynch for gain of 8 yards and SEA first down. Ray Lewis and Jared Johnson miss tackles.|
Its a bit ironic after being qualitatively and quantitaively the least valuable player in the game that David Reed’s end around (1) in the first quarter represented the high water mark for the Ravens in terms of winning percentage (60%). Similarly, despite what ended up being a heavy pass day for Cam Cameron, it didn’t appear that way from the outset. On their opening drive, Baltimore ran back-to-back end-arounds (the second being Reed’s) for first downs. It appears that the Ravens saw something on tape (gap discipline?) that suggested the Seahawks were particularly vulnerable to such plays.
The next most dramatic offensive spike for the Ravens, in terms of winning percentage, occurred on the extremely well executed, but still puzzling, 1 yard pass from Ray Rice to Ed Dickson on second-and-goal (3). At this point in the game the Ravens had throw 18 passes compared to 5 rushing attempts and 2 of the rushing attempts had come from WRs. Given the game situation, being down at most 10 in the first half, a 4:1 ratio of passes to rushes is baffling. For the day Flacco threw 10 passes that traveled at least 15 yards and he was 1-10 on these passes for 17 yards. Given the ineffectiveness, Cameron’s dogmatic commitment to such plays seems bizarre. Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders and Yahoo! Sports speculated that this could be partially due to the aggressive play from the Seahawks defensive backs. In his game notes Farrar noted, “Seattle’s defensive backs have been manhandling Baltimore’s receivers, getting called for one defensive pass interference with a few other borderline plays.” Perhaps Cameron was hoping that the Seattle DBs would be penalized and back off, but alas the latter never happened.
In the 4th quarter, Baltimore’s best chance to win came with the defense on the field after Flacco’s 11 yard touchdown pass to Ed Dickson (6). In very un-Raven like fashion the defense buckled on multiple third downs. The most costly of these, in terms of winning percentage, was an 8 yard pass from Jackson to Lynch where Lynch juked both Ray Lewis and Jared Johnson to get a first down (7). After this play the game was not in question. For now, the most important thing now is to move on from this awful game. The Ravens need to concentrate on beating the Bengals in the upcoming week to keep from being on the outside looking in of the AFC North Division race.