Friday, October 15, 2010

Brady needs protection this week more than ever against the Ravens

This week the Pats will be up against the Ravens on Sunday.  It will also be my first game at Foxboro this year so I am particularly fired up for the game.  The Ravens much publisized defense has been crushing teams this year.  Just one look at their NFL ranking is quite daunting.

Passing : rank 2, 156.6 yds/game, opp QB rating 78.7 (ranked 12)
Rushing : rank 10, 10.1.2 yds/game
Overall defense : rank 3, 257.8 YPG

Pretty daunting right?  Let's break it down with the stats from the PFF guys.

Overall : rank 4
Run defense : rank 1
Pass rush : rank 23
Pass coverage : rank 1

From these stats the most glaring is obviously pass rush where they are ranked 23 compared to top 4 or first in all the others.  Interestingly the Pats are ranked 13th in the NFL in YPG (122.2 yds) but they are obviously going to have a tough time against the Ravens #1 ranked run defense.  Now we all know that New England has Tom Brady (I really hope he cuts his hair) and that passing should be their strength.  They are ranked 15th in the NFL (222 YPG) and 11th in toal offense.  So they have a pretty balanced offense this year which is in the top half or better. 

Now if we look at New England's pass block ranks from PFF they are ranked around 18th.  If you look through all their 4 games their O-line has played solid in general, no major break down in pass rush at the least. You would think that if the O-line plays to their capablity that they can hold the Ravens and give Brady some time to pass.  Now we know that Baltimore is also ranked first in pass coverage so Brady and all his receivers will have to be on their game as well.  But this seems to be a chink in Baltimore's defense that can be exploited.

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