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BSL: The Ravens Complicated Offense


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#1 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 10:47 PM

BSL: http://baltimorespor...icated-offense/

 

I took a look at the Ravens opening drives where they got nothing going against the Browns.

 

Typically teams script their first 15 plays, or first drive. 

 

I compare what I assume to be a scripted Ravens opening drive(s) looks like compared to the gold standard in offense, the Patriots assumed to be scripted opening drive. 

 

The Ravens are trying to do far too much and need to keep it simple.


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#2 BSLGabeFerguson

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 01:50 AM

Really interesting work Mike, but my takeaways are a bit different.

My first thought was simply not good enough on 3rd down. The Patriots converted each of their 3rd downs, while the Ravens clearly did not.

A lot of that is on Joe. He missed an open Aiken, took a sack, and then threw an errant pass that was picked off.

In terms of substitutions, I think that is a function of personnel. The Patriots have two very good two-way TEs that allows them to utilize 2 TE sets extremely efficiently.

The Ravens just don't have that flexibility. Waller and Pitta are both pass-catching TEs who are poor at blocking. We're really missing Watson and Gillmore.
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#3 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 09:03 AM

Really interesting work Mike, but my takeaways are a bit different.


My first thought was simply not good enough on 3rd down. The Patriots converted each of their 3rd downs, while the Ravens clearly did not.


A lot of that is on Joe. He missed an open Aiken, took a sack, and then threw an errant pass that was picked off.


In terms of substitutions, I think that is a function of personnel. The Patriots have two very good two-way TEs that allows them to utilize 2 TE sets extremely efficiently.


The Ravens just don't have that flexibility. Waller and Pitta are both pass-catching TEs who are poor at blocking. We're really missing Watson and Gillmore.



Thanks Gabe. I agree on all those points.

I think it was you in the game thread, I apologize if it wasnt, but mentioned that the route combinations just don't seem to make sense. That's where a giant difference in the Patriots offense, and most others differ. Which is why they complete a lot of passes. A lot of manageable 3rd downs. And a lot of wide open receivers on those downs.

I'm thinking if the route concepts make more sense, it takes less skill to get open as a receiver. It doesn't matter who runs the route. If it doesn't matter who runs them, you dont have to sub in and out so much. Makes life simpler, offense runs smoother.

Maybe I'm off base. It goes a lot deeper I'm sure. But there is a reason why the Pats are so damn effcient all the time. It can't be that Brady is simply a robot. Matt Cassel had success there. Jimmy Garappolo had success there. Brady's ability plays a part, but the system seems dummy proof.

I plan on tackling the two minute drill struggles another time. Off the top of my head I think in both the end of the giants game, and end of the first half of the Steelers game, they were slow in moving the ball and getting to the line because they subbed in and out with the clock running. That lets the defense do the same. You should be able to execute a two minute no huddle without a subs. 2 minute and 4 minute drives are what they practice most. Make your subs in a timeout or other clock stoppage. You get too many moving parts going it lends itself to mistakes. Missed audibles, illegal formations.

Again, maybe I'm off base. Some of it just makes common sense, even if it isn't exactly football sense.
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#4 jkough1

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 09:18 AM

Maybe I'm off base. It goes a lot deeper I'm sure. But there is a reason why the Pats are so damn effcient all the time. It can't be that Brady is simply a robot. Matt Cassel had success there. Jimmy Garappolo had success there. Brady's ability plays a part, but the system seems dummy proof.

 

I mean this is part of it. The system the Pats run though fundamentally different in how they execute it. 

 

It's more of a, this concept, get to the line. Everyone reads the defense. They have to see the same thing and then they run route combos and attack the things they see. They play in concert with each other, and you have to have smart receivers that understand those concepts and how they'll attack.

 

I think a large part of our effectiveness against the Pats over the years has been that we know those concepts, we know their keys, and we know how they look to approach specific zones or man coverage in those combos because of Pees time there. There are probably really slight adjustments in passing defenses that are also super nuanced that are difficult to understand. Both in how they execute their offense and the best way to defend it.

 

Their two way TE system also makes a HUGE difference. They can go in and out of run / pass plays with ease and still get really high-quality blocking when they do.


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#5 BSLGabeFerguson

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 01:14 PM

I definitely think the Pats offensive scheme is superior. They simplify the offense a lot and utilize different formations to make basic route combinations more effective.


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#6 primetime

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 05:26 PM

I have many thoughts on the Pats but it might better reserved for another discussion. If you haven't already, check out Spygate: The Untold Story.

 

With that out of the way, outside of when Kubiak was here, we've never been an offense that utilizes route combos all that often or systematically/schematically try to create space for our WRs. It seems like we run mostly iso routes and leave it to our WRs to create and win 1 on 1 matchups. An offense like this can work if you have a big time #1 WR that commands double coverage, thus creating opportunities in other places on the field or if you have an offensive line that can hold up for 4-5 seconds and allow the WRs to work themselves open. Problem is, we have neither of those components.

 

The good news is, I saw some good things come out of Thursday's game. Other than 1 bonehead decision to try to force that ball to the back of the end zone (I don't put the 1st INT totally on Joe, Sr quit on that route but anyway...), Joe looked as confident throwing the football as he has all year. He got to the top of his drop, set up and really drove his throws. Also, the adjustments we made coming out of the half were evident; the quick slants and the shallow crossing routes allowed Flacco to get the ball out of hands quickly and on time, which lead to the WRs getting the ball in stride and creating after the catch. For the first time this season, the offense really looked like the West Coast offense. Dare I say it looked very 80's 49ers-esque in the 2nd half.

 

Combined with the route adjustments, we stayed committed to the run. Albeit the numbers weren't huge but we stayed with it enough to keep the defense honest.

 

Although I'm nervous about the injuries to our starting guards, I've seen some things I think we can build on for the remainder of the season. I guess we'll see.


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