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Running The Numbers: Ravens Offense - Figuratively Speaking

Posted Oct 8, 2012

7: Number of teams with more passing attempts than the Ravens.

We think of the Ravens as a run-heavy team, but the truth is that they’ve recently become more and more pass-oriented. Baltimore has thrown the ball on 60.6 percent of their plays this season, ranking just 19th in rushing attempts. Not surprisingly, the Ravens are fourth in the NFL in yards-per-play.

43.9: Difference in Joe Flacco’s passer rating when throwing right versus left.

Flacco is a strong-armed quarterback who can make every throw on the field, but he’s been far more successful throwing to the right side (107.2 rating) as compared to the left (63.3 rating). Most quarterbacks exemplify that trait, but not to the extent of Flacco.

104.7: Flacco’s passer rating when blitzed.

You might think of Flacco as a somewhat immobile quarterback, but that hasn’t hurt his ability to beat the blitz this year. He has thrown all four of his interceptions when defenses rush four or fewer defenders.

19.1: Percentage of Flacco’s passes that have traveled 20 or more yards in the air.

With Flacco at the helm, the Ravens have consistently been among the league-leaders in deep passing attempts. This year, only Jay Cutler has thrown deep passes more frequently than Flacco. The Ravens quarterback has totaled 11.59 yards per attempt (YPA), four touchdowns and no picks on deep passes.

137.5: Flacco’s passer rating when throwing to wide receiver Torrey Smith.

One of the reasons Flacco can air it out is that second-year receiver Torrey Smith is such a dynamic big-play threat. No quarterback has a higher passer rating when throwing to any receiver than Flacco to Smith. The duo is posting 12.65 YPA.

54.8: Percentage of Smith’s targets that are at least 20 yards downfield.

Over half of Smith’s targets in 2012 have come on deep passes, which is remarkable. Smith has five more deep targets (17) than any other player in the NFL. In comparison, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree have only 15 deep targets combined.

0: Number of drops Smith has in 2012.

There are only two players in the league with at least 30 targets and no drops. Smith is one of them.

0.46: Percentage of pass plays on which right guard Marshal Yanda has allowed pressure.

Yanda is one of the premiere guards in the NFL. In addition to his pass protection prowess, he’s also paved the way for Ravens running backs to average 4.56 yards-per-carry when he’s at the point of attack. That’s outstanding for an interior lineman.

8.0: Percentage of pass plays on which left tackle Michael Oher has allowed pressure.

Offensive tackles almost always yield more pressure than interior linemen, but Oher’s 8.0 pressure rate is too high. I’ve tracked Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith as allowing pressure on 5.7 percent of snaps, and most people agree Smith has struggled early in 2012.

7.00: Yards-per-carry for Baltimore running backs with Michael Oher at the point of attack.

While he’s had some trouble in pass protection, Oher has been one of the league’s most dominant run blockers. His battle with DeMarcus Ware will be one of the most exciting matchups to watch all game.

23: Receptions by Ray Rice, the most of any running back in the NFL.

Rice is effective because of his versatility. Like Matt Forte, he can gash defenses on the ground and through the air. It will be imperative for the Cowboys’ linebackers and safeties to keep an eye on Rice slipping out of the backfield.

6: The number of 15-yard runs by Rice.

Rice thrives not only because he receives a heavy workload, but also because he’s efficient. Averaging 5.17 yards-per-carry this season, he uses superior vision to get into the second level of a defense before you know it. Rice has the second-most runs of 15 or more yards in the league.

40.4: Percentage of snaps tight end Dennis Pitta has played in the slot.

We know the Ravens have a top-notch quarterback, wide receiver and running back, but they also boast an emerging tight end. Pitta has been quiet in the past two games, but he began the 2012 season on fire. He could represent a problem for Dallas because he often lines up in the slot. His slot usage is the fourth highest in the NFL, ahead of guys like Tony Gonzalez and Rob Gronkowski.

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