Baltimore Ravens Stats: Interesting stats from first 11 games


Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Pernell McPhee (90) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals defeated the Ravens 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

As much as analysts glean from watching the games, stats can offer a unique insight into the game love. And at 7-4 and with significant offensive success, the Baltimore Ravens stats have to be fun to look at for fans. So let’s take a look at some of the most interesting stats from the season so far.

Justin Forsett leads the NFL in breakaway percentage

Pro Football Focus (subscription needed) defines breakaway percentage as the amount of a running backs’ yards that come on runs of 15-plus. On his 155 rushes, Forsett has had 12 such rushes, turning those breakaway runs into 361 yards. That means that 40 percent of his 903 yards came on breakaway runs, tops in the league.

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Forsett can in some ways thank his offensive line for that, as they rank second in the league in run blocking per Pro Football Focus. Looking at his tape, though, Forsett excels at breaking tackles from behind. His legs move very quickly and are difficult to get a hold of for defenders, so he often sheds defenders who are tackling from behind. By breaking those kinds of tackles, Forsett regularly turns five-yard gains into 20-yard gains.

Joe Flacco is second in the NFL in deep accuracy

Joe Flacco has always had a reputation as an elite deep ball thrower. The stats back that notion up this year after a down year in 2013. He is accurate on 54.1 percent of his deep balls per Pro Football Focus, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who has watched him this year. The short and intermediate zones remain a work in progress, but Flacco has been excellent with his deep ball this year.

Having Steve Smith in the fold helps a lot, as his ball skills are tremendous and help him get his hands on balls a lot of receivers otherwise would not. Paired with the resurgent Torrey Smith, the Ravens are surprisingly strong at receiver now. Monday night’s game was the first time both Smiths got going, and the Ravens offense was much deadlier for it. With two good deep receivers, Joe Flacco’s accurate deep ball should continue to keep the Ravens’ offense threatening, if not consistent.

Torrey Smith’s catch rate is above 50 percent!

For Torrey Smith to take the next step as a receiver, he needed to increase his efficiency. Going for over 1,100 yards was nice, but Smith caught fewer than half of his targets in 2013. It was even worse in 2012, when he caught just 49 of his 110 targets. The reasons for that are varied (marginal ball skills, average change of direction ability to get open and the occasional drop).

This year, Smith had been struggling for weeks before a hot streak has his catch rate over 50 percent, as he has caught 32 balls on 63 targets. That’s a big deal for the Ravens offense. As fans saw Monday night, Smith is great with the ball in his hands, so finding ways to get him the ball more efficiently could produce a lot more big plays for this offense.

Here’s another fun stat: Of Smith’s 32 receptions, 26 have been for first downs. Considering he is averaging 17 yards per catch, that’s not surprising, but it further proves that the Ravens don’t often use him as an early down, short-yardage target.

Pernell McPhee is a pressure machine

Despite receiving significantly fewer reps than other 3-4 outside linebackers, Pernell McPhee has racked up 44 total pressures per Pro Football Focus. For the record, Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs are both high on the list as well, racking up 36 and 35 pressures, respectively.

Yes, McPhee leads the Ravens in pressures, and he leads all 3-4 outside linebackers in quarterback hits with 14. Impressive numbers from the young man on an expiring contract. With such great numbers, that McPhee has just four sacks is surprising. His tendency to rush from the inside, where he is easier to keep an eye on, could be the reason for that, as could be his lack of finishing speed.

Regardless of his sack totals, McPhee has been a monster this year. His ability to rush from anywhere on the field is a valuable asset and has been a big reason for the Ravens’ pass rushing success this year.