What Time Is The Ravens Game Come On – The Jets will have a tough job in Week 1: a leading rushing team and a former MVP quarterback that will tear apart regular defenses.
Quarterback is the most important position in sports. Be bold, highlight, and celebrate it for Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens.
What Time Is The Ravens Game Come On
The 2019 NFL MVP rushed for more than 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons and was well on his way to a third 1,000-yard rushing season in 2021 before injuries derailed his season.
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However, the Ravens went from a 14-2 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC in 2019, to an 11-5 record and wild card berth in 2020, to missing the playoffs entirely in 2021. With the 2021 product largely responsible, the Ravens’ slide began before their QB was on the shelf.
In Week 1 of the 2022 season, Jackson is scheduled to face the New York Jets in his comeback game. What weaknesses can the Jetsons and Ravens exploit to contain this potentially explosive offense?
1. Jets have tough job in Week 1: leading rusher and former MVP destroying typical defense
Looking at the breakdown of Jackson’s numbers, it’s hard to find clear trends to explain his struggles. However, when comparing his 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons, there are some patterns that explain his relative struggles last season.
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First, Jackson’s big-time punt rating (BTT) dropped under pressure last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He went from leading the NFL with a 9.0% BTT rate when he weighed in his MVP campaign, to sixth at 8.2% in 2020, to 20th at 5.0% in 2021.
Interestingly, Jackson hasn’t been pressured on a higher percentage of his drops than last season. Jackson hit a 30.9% drop rate in 2019 before seeing that number rise to 37.0% in 2020, but remained flat at 37.0% in 2021.
Additionally, Jackson’s passing stats against the blitz in 2021 were poor: 32nd in PFF overall rating among qualified QBs, 35th in PFF passer rating, 31st in passers and 29th in expected points (EPA). Jackson’s fourth PFF rating against the blitz seemed like a fair trade for many teams, especially in third-and-long situations.
Another area in which Jackson’s numbers significantly deteriorated from his MVP year to the following seasons was turnover-worthy play (TWP) when he was fresh. This number gives a good idea of the quarterback’s reading of the defense and decision making.
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In 2019, Jackson finished 13th best among qualified QBs with a 2.1% TWP. That number rose to 2.7% in 2020, which ranked 22nd among qualifiers, and then rose to 2.9% in 2021, which ranked 26th.
This could indicate that teams have learned how to handle Jackson in coverage while keeping him in the pocket. However, it wasn’t easy for any team to contain Jackson’s run, especially without the weight.
On the offensive side of the ball, the team lost two top cornerbacks, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards with season-ending injuries. The two backs have combined for 1,500 yards and are averaging 5.5 yards per carry in 2020.
The Ravens must rely on the likes of Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell at running back. This allowed teams to catch Jackson in the running game.
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Star left tackle Ronnie Stanley was injured for all but one game. Jackson himself was out for the final four games of the season with an ankle injury.
Despite the injury, Jackson seemed to be coming up with a plan to defeat him. Several teams have successfully followed him.
The league as a whole started hitting Jackson more often than before. Teams were afraid to hit the dynamic QB, knowing it could spell disaster if Jackson took the pressure off.
However, as mentioned earlier, Jackson’s numbers against the blitz are much weaker than when not under pressure. On the other hand, his numbers against pressure aren’t too bad. In his first two full seasons, Jackson had an elite BTT level under pressure. He showed that he was
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Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman took over for his vanilla offensive scheme. For example, the Dolphins ran the same zero-coverage blitz 31 times against Jackson in the Week 10 game. The Dolphins outshot the Ravens, 22-10, and Roman had no answer for the same scheme that was thrown at him.
The Dolphins used similar zone coverage on their zero blitz, while the Ravens struggled. Miami’s defense was focused on Jackson and missed shots at times. Even when Jackson completed the pass, the defensive backs quickly joined the ball.
According to a breakdown of the film obtained by Kurt Warner and others from the Miami-Baltimore game, Roman’s play calling while coaching in Jackson was hurting the Ravens. Every time Roman got something right, like a running move to get the extra blitzer a step back, he picked something else up, like route combinations.
The big question is, can other teams repeat this feat? Specifically, is running the Cover 0 blitz all the time a viable game plan for the Jets?
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That being said, blitzing Jackson in general rather than running an outside blitz seems like a good idea. There will be added pressure on Jackson to prove he can hit.
Although the Jets play a 4-3, the 4-2-5 nickel set is closer to their base due to the NFL’s trend toward 11 personnel (one RB, one TE). In most downs, C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams will be the team’s backups, with Michael Carter II joining D.J. Reed and Saucey Gardner in the back corner.
Even though the Ravens employed 11 more personnel than any other set in 2021, they still used it 43% of the time, third-most in the league (Ball Analysis-foot Sharp). In Jackson’s three full seasons in the NFL, the Ravens were in the bottom six of the NFL in personnel usage with 11. The Ravens ran 75% of the time from 11 personnel, which was very strong.
The Ravens ran 21 personnel (two running backs, one tight end) in 2021, third-most in the NFL. Their pass-rushing split from 21 personnel is only slightly skewed toward the run, 53-47%. However, in 2020, the Ravens ran 21 personnel, fourth-most in the NFL (18%), but were much more prone to hit those sets 66-34%.
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With a dynamic running back and a healthy Lamar Jackson at the helm, there’s reason to believe the Ravens will return to their former division.
In other sets (each used about 10-15% of the time), the Ravens had a similar split: 61% going through 12 personnel; 73% expire by 22; And 67% will run out of 20.
Even though it’s a new season, the Jets can look at these moves and matchup personnel. If the Ravens have two cornerbacks, chances are they will run the ball. Going with these sets risks being unbalanced against a strong running team.
A 2020 playoff game in which the Bills beat the Ravens, 17-3, provides a great blueprint for how to compare personnel to the Ravens.
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According to Billy Stephens’ film analysis, the Bills went with nickel personnel every time the Ravens went 11 or 12. .
Using these sets, the key to stopping the run was handed to Buffalo’s linebackers. Their goal was to maintain outside leverage and take every game back. The outside linebackers were tasked with setting the edge and forcing inside compression, while the MIKE linebacker’s responsibility was to make plays on the ball.
Unfortunately, one of their biggest weak links in the Jets defense is linebackers. However, no matter what game plan they come up with, the average defense will be key to stopping the Ravens’ running attack.
Therefore, it will be important to control and maintain duties. Quincy Williams, in particular, needs to stay in his lane and stop sacrificing limit in hopes of hitting big.
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Jackson likes to throw the deep ball. His success depended largely on fine plays on the field. The Bills beat the Ravens in the 2020 playoffs with a double-height shell, often in Cover 4, to take those deep shots. This caused Jackson to throw under him, which he also doesn’t do.
The movie showed that Jackson hates to shoot in the apartment. Therefore, the Bills often left the flat open or partially open for longer periods of time, forcing Jackson to force the ball or throw where he was not comfortable.
Blitzing the ball quickly and taking deeper looks in coverage of the quarterback, Jackson struggled. He had 38 sacks in 2021, the most of his career, despite not playing
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