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New York Times, Post Week-14 (2014): Under-the-Radar Ravens

I was on vacation last week, but the weekly New York Times posts are back! This week, a look at the Ravens, a team quietly positioning itself as one of the league’s best.

With three weeks remaining in the N.F.L. regular season, the cream is rising to the top.

The Green Bay Packers have scored 369 points over their last 10 games and Aaron Rodgers is the front-runner for most valuable player. The New England Patriots have won eight of their last nine games (with the only loss at Green Bay) and outscored opponents by a league-best 10.3 points a game. The Seattle Seahawks are the defending Super Bowl champions; after an uneven start they are starting to play like it. They have allowed 507 yards over the last three weeks, the fewest in the N.F.L. by any team in a three-game stretch in over three years.

But the Baltimore Ravens are the only team that ranks in the top quarter of the league in both points scored and points allowed. It is hard to imagine a team two years removed from winning the Super Bowl flying under the radar, but that is what is happening in Baltimore, with national coverage of the domestic violence episode involving their former player Ray Rice overshadowing the team’s performance.

You can read the full article here.

  • The Ravens are looking good.

    #4 in DVOA and weighted DVOA
    #3 in point differential
    #13 in ANY/A differential
    #2 in ARY/A differential
    #7 in AYP differential
    #5 in SRS
    #5 in SOS-adjusted Pythagenpat
    #6 in cumulative game script

    Solid overall team ratings.

    • And because the NFL is so weird, they might miss the playoffs entirely.

    • Tom

      Bryan – another telling stat is points per drive. Baltimore is #3 with 2.42 PPD, just behind the Pats with 2.53 and of course, Green Bay with 2.88. Defensively, they’re only average, allowing 1.82 PPD, #16 in the league.

  • Daniel

    I agree that the Ravens are a really solid all-around team. This might be the most balanced version, not counting the 2012 playoffs, since 2009 or so.

    If I’m NE, I’m really hoping that they can leap-frog the Colts and get the #3 seed (which would take two Colts losses from here out) so I can avoid BAL till at least the AFC Championship Game. The players and matchups may change, but out of all the teams that could come to Foxboro in Rd.2, even discounting the past history between the two teams, the Ravens are the one I would least like to see.

  • My predictions are terrible, but I’m much more bearish on the Ravens. A bunch of those huge numbers come from earlier in the season, last week’s game notwithstanding. And Dumervil has been a beast, but there’s no Jimmy Smith, a limited Webb, and a train wreck in the secondary that only seems to get worse. Many of the good defensive numbers were with a different team than they have now.

    Worth noting, though, that I was also bearish on Steve Smith in my Chargers-Ravens recap for FO last week and he had a big day against Miami.

  • Chase Stuart

    Had I known you were bearish on the Ravens, I would have included that in the original article.

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