Ravens 2015 Season in Review – Analytics and Visualizations (Part 2)
I continue my Ravens 2015 season review using reflective analytics and visualizations. GameMaps present every possession, drive result and starting field position for each game in exact chronological order. Two plots present the current trend in drive performance and the cumulative drive performance – offense, defense and team separate. Learn more about the metrics used by visiting www.theQ5.com. A video tutorial takes you through the building of the GameMap from Super Bowl 49. The Ravens review for games 1-8 are available here.
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Week 9: Bye Week
Heading out of the bye, the Ravens had a favorable opponent schedule in the next quarter of the season. The Jags, Rams, Browns and Dolphins await. Prior to the season, opponents such as these coming out of the bye would have drawn grins. This season has proven to not go as planned and the 2-6 Ravens must know that even 8 wins in a row may leave them out of the playoffs. What happens in this quarter of the 2015 season? The Ravens will come out of it with a 2-2 record with a couple of 2 point losses. However, the Ravens will also lose their QB for the rest of the season.
Coming into this game, BAL was 5-2 after bye weeks under Harbaugh. A turnover on downs in the first half leads to a JAX TD, then two 2nd half turnovers (one fumbled punt by Jeremy Ross) lead directly to ten 2nd half JAX points.
The Ravens commit a total of 4 second half turnovers. All that being said, the Ravens have the ball up by a point late in the 4th quarter. The offense could have ended the game but 7 plays and 37 yards results in a punt. This game is one in which the BAL offense has no successful non-scoring drives – as seen on the GameMap. What a team does on non-scoring possessions links closely to field position. Non-scoring drives will be tracked throughout the year in part 3 of this series.
The drive to win by JAX is incredible, starting with just 1:06 on the clock. A facemask penalty on Dumervil on what would have been the final play of the game gives JAX an additional final play to attempt a FG from 53 yards. JAX converts for their first win in its last 13 road games. This loss puts the Ravens at 2-7 and hindsight shows that this loss eliminates them from playoff contention.
The Ravens rebound from the disappointment of a week ago to turn a 13-3 defecit into a 16-13 win. This is a very sloppy game. STL breaks in a new QB – Case Keenum – but the BAL defense performs well. The Ravens are slow to get going on offense. They finally get on the board with a 25 yard FG just before half after a ST turnover by the Rams. The Rams Todd Gurley also fumbles in the 4th quarter, giving the Ravens great field position and starting the 13-0 run to end the game.
The win proves costly as the Ravens lose RB Forsett in the 1st quarter to a broken forearm and Flacco to an ACL and MACL injury at the end of the game. Flacco shows huge grit to stay in the game and help get the ball in position for the game winning 47 yard Tucker field goal. How did they manage that? After exchanging missed FGs with the Rams, the Ravens capitalize on a Case Keenum fumble on 3rd down to set up the game winning drive.
An unforgettable Monday Night Football game ends with a walk-off ST blocked FG returned for a TD for a Ravens win over the Browns. Brent Urban blocks a 50 yard FG attempt and Will Hill scoops and scores to shock the Cleveland crowd. Journeyman QB Matt Schaub in his first start for the Ravens throws 2 TD but also 2 INT. The ST unit scores two TDs – the game-ender and a punt return in the 1st quarter. Schaub throws a pick-6 coming out of halftime but the offense positively responds to score a TD on its next possession. A 4th quarter Schaub INT gives the Browns a chance to win in regulation but the Browns find a rarely used path to defeat with the walk-off blocked FG to TD sequence. Oddly, I remember from my youth, the Chargers doing the same up in Denver back in 1985 but in OT. Presumably, the school-aged youth of CLE will be scarred in exactly the same way.
In a game I have nicknamed: “20 Seconds To Defeat” the Ravens create a GameMap not often seen. In a game that sees the Dolphins earn only 8 first downs, the Ravens lose 15-13. The Dolphins scores two TDs and a 2-pt conversion in just 20 seconds of game clock late in the 2nd quarter. The Dolphins intercept two Schaub deflected passes –the first of which Tannehill immediately turns into a 38 yard TD pass to Parker and the next is returned for a defensive TD. The 280-pound Shelby bats a pass in the air, catches it and runs 22 yards to the end zone for his first NFL touchdown. The defensive TD is followed by two Ravens penalties on the PAT attempt and the Dolphins decide to try a 2-pt conversion from the 1-yard line. Those 15 points in 20 seconds is enough for the win.
The Ravens control their own fate in the 4th quarter. The Dolphins RB Miller fumbles and this is what the Ravens do with it: 4:17 on the clock – 1st and 10: J.Allen up the middle to MIA 39 for 2 yards. 2nd and 8: J.Allen left tackle to MIA 37 for 2 yards. 3rd and 6: M.Schaub pass incomplete short left to K.Aiken. That leaves a 55 yard FG for the win which the Ravens do not convert.
The Ravens have an offensive TD negated by a controversial offensive PI call in the 1st quarter. WR Brown’s 52 yard TD catch is nullified. Harbaugh contended the defender was guilty of interference, and said a first-year official made the call.
”I think he got it backward,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a rookie, and he messed it up.”
That seems to be how those calls go this year for the Ravens. Injuries and a lack of depth make for too narrow of a margin for victory. This game is another example of it.
SEA and BAL are at 14-6 coming out of halftime but the Seahawks take it 80 yards in 11 plays and eat up over 6 minutes of the 3rd quarter to impose their will on the game. Jimmy Clausen starts at QB for the Ravens with Schaub hurt. Russell Wilson throws five TDs.
The Chiefs – making their run to the playoffs score two 2nd defensive TDs. The Ravens make it close just before half with a TD to make it 24-14 but can’t make any noise in the 2nd half. Clausen starts again at QB for the Ravens.
Ryan Mallett – yes from the Texans – and the Ravens shock the playoff hopeful Steelers. Ravens finish the year 2-0 vs the Steelers. If only they could play them every week…. A clean game on offense shows little action on the bottom half of the Trend-Q plot. No turnovers by the Ravens but four turnovers by the Steelers (two on downs) contribute to the Ravens victory. Notice how the Trend-Q plot is almost always above the line dividing Successful from Unsuccessful. The defense rises to the occasion late to thwart at possible PIT rally.
The opposite of last week – it is CIN that plays the clean game on offense and BAL has four 2nd half turnovers. Coming strong out of halftime, the Bengals capture momentum and the scoreboard quickly. However, BAL gets the ball down 8 points late but needing to cover 91 yards in 41 seconds and Mallett throws an INT to end the game and the season.
5-11 – with 5 wins by a combined 18 points.
Four different stating QBs: Flacco, Schaub, Clausen and Mallett.
Critical season-ending injuries: Steve Smith, Flacco, Forsett and Scruggs.
Next week I show how the Ravens compare with the 31 other teams in several aspects of situational drive performance. I will present findings on drive performance after turnovers, after points were scored, in drives starting at the extreme ends of the field, starting the game and coming out of halftime to name a few. The 5-11 record will be traced back to the season-long performance in these critical situations. For a preview check here. All 17 weeks of data will be evaluated in part 3 of the Ravens Season in Review.