No doubt many of you will never watch this game (understandable) but I've got to tell you, it was very educational and really helped highlight what we need to do this offseason to get better. I only want to focus on OUR play...not the controversy.
Here were some of my notes...where we suffered and you should be able to see where we improved in personnel after this off season and other technique, scheme, etc. we need to improve upon:
First Quarter: Down 7-3
- Illegal formation right out of the gate? Is that on Crabtree or Roman? It also speaks to how they may not have practiced that play to perfection like in the old WCO days...first 20 plays were scripted and practiced to perfection.
- Nice fake handoff by CK to the left side and then rolled naked to the right but Walker runs his route a yard out of bounds. Come on down McDonald!
- 3rd and 15 and I noticed two Ravens signaling after CK audibled. They knew it was a run play and Gore was lucky to get 3 yards; this happened all game long...mostly Lewis late signaling. They even signaled to what side the run was going (it appeared).
- Brooks jumps offsides on 3rd and long, incomplete. The next 3rd down play is the simple TD to Boldin.
- Boldin lined up in the slot in the RZ, faked an inside move fooling Bowman and Whitner had no chance with his height to help over-the-top and he was late covering. Perpetual problem for our RZ defense. That AND it was the exact same play ran in the NE game for a TD. Poor scouting defense (if any at all); not sure if that's on Fangio and/or the players. Media said they always throw for the EZ when in the RZ. Yup. Willis and Goldson were covering Torrey Smith outside. Pita was mismatched on Rogers in single coverage (on the outside) as well. Easy TD; take your pick. Spread us out and attack the short S.
- Like the NFCCG against the Giants, first down production killed us (lead to very tough 2nd and 3rd downs)...good defensive coaching on the Raven's part. First downs, our one-receiver option was often covered and CK was forced to scramble early/often.
- When we ran the Q formation, I noticed the 2 WR's we had were almost always on the same side...making it easy to defend.
- Anytime we were inside the 10, they ran a 0 (or ILB or some form of a) blitz.
- Odd technique by both Whitner/Brown...Flacco is sprinting backwards running (15 yards) from Aldon in a full straight line sprint. Falacco is on the opposite hash mark and throws a ball to the other sideline of the field across his body. Both times the WR comes back for a 10 yard gain and both times, neither Whitner nor Brown played the ball. That ball was in the air for over 3+ seconds. No awareness at all. Conversely, they almost got a pick 6 on a similar play by CK. That is all technique...keeping the WR in front of you and your eyes on the QB/ball. Whitner is VERY slow in reacting...speed...recovery even when he was covering Pita on this play. Obviously, even with a pass rush (Brooks too), Flacco had ZERO fear launching it up to his WR's. I don't think that is just trust. I think they saw a weakness in the film room...we don't play the ball well at all in the air and don't play the ball at all, period. Makes me wonder if the technique was different as our our PD's and INT's went way down compared to the previous year.
- Pass rush and pressure was better than I thought.
Second Quarter: Down 21-6
- James had a nice 9-yard run inside out of the Q formation. We never went back to him again inside despite Gore also getting huge chunks inside out of this formation. Instead we run the Q but James lateral who then runs right into their OLB's containing b/c of CK and subsequently has to ad lib and fumbles.
- Stout front 7 except when Sopoaga was undercut man-on-man. Ravens had no chance at running for the most part. Should have ignored it and ILB run blitzed much more. Eventually Flacco's luck would have run out IMHO. One note is that we still struggled covering RB's out of the backfield esp. on 1st downs (b/c the ILB's were forced into coverage).
- Whitner continued to be picked on in coverage all over the field 1on1 on various TE's on both sides of the field and down the middle in the RZ (personal foul in the RZ too; gave up 3 easy TD's today; Boldin/Pita/Jones). No idea where Goldson (did he play this game?) was or why he was not assigned to TE's on his side of the field, at least...late as always. How bad was that Pita TD? Pita was THE ONLY receiver on that play (max protection) and Willis couldn't cover his 7 yard straight route underneath and of course, Whitner is late, crawling on his knees after the catch. Pathetic. How about a jam at the LOS at least. That goes for the DB's as well.
- Fumble and INT, um, yeah...both hurt badly...awesome ST stop on the FG though; Willis, you made up for it on a heady play! The Ravens obviously saw something in our FG unit and tried to exploit it. Conversely, perhaps we should not have had Akers kick it short to J.Jones on a full sprint? Hmmm.
- But the subsequent 3 and out lead to an immediate TD all under 3 minutes to go in the first half; lost yards again on 1st down. Another draw on 3rd and long. The Ravens went for it...we played ultra conservative the first half. Period.
- Culliver had the only blanket coverages in the first half (minus the jump-ball play). Double moves KILLED our secondary (Bowman, Willis, Culliver, Goldson, Whitner x3, etc.). They saw this on film and obviously exploited it this game. Whitner bit on the Jones TD as well leaving Culliver trailing solo. You could say Whitner accounted for 3 easy TD's this game alone...so why do we rip on Culliver so much? Each time he was trailing a WR solo who continued his route deep in the play and he had no S help at all and both we deep jump ball bombs where the WR had a clear visual advantage. Culliver will be fine if he gets help.
- Like how the Ravens used Boldin in as a slot and also ran him from the outside across the middle in the RZ after spreading us out. Take notes HarRoMan!
- Ironically, the end to the first half was almost exactly the same as the end of the game! 2nd and 2 from the 7 yard line. 35 seconds to go. 0 blitz. 2 or less yards gained on a run up the gut. Next play we roll naked right with no uncovered options (Crabtree again). Total yards = 0. We only get 3 pts...Roman saw EXACTLY how the Ravens would play us at the end of the game at the end of the first half. And he called the same exact offensive plays/series. Sad!
[ Edited by NCommand on Jul 9, 2013 at 12:45 PM ]