Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Ravens.
Four -- Ravens sacks of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers coming with four or fewer pass rushers.
The Ravens, who have been blitzing less than they did in the first half of the season, are finally starting to see consistent results with their pass rush. They recorded three sacks in a win over the Oakland Raiders and three more a week later in their win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then against the Chargers, who have one of the NFL’s weakest offensive lines, the Ravens recorded a season-high six sacks. According to
10 -- consecutive red-zone successes for the Ravens defense.
For most of the season, the Ravens had one of the NFL's stingiest defenses in the red zone -- one of a few things the then-reeling defense could hang its helmet on. But the Ravens have kicked it up another notch over the past few games. Since the Week 8 bye week, the Ravens have yet to allow a red-zone touchdown. Opponents have crossed the Baltimore 20-yard line 10 times in those games and they were turned away every time. Now the Ravens rank first in red-zone defense, surrendering touchdowns just 34.2 percent of the time. That played a big role in the Ravens allowing a league-best 14.5 points per game in November.
82 -- yards after the catch for
Second-year wide receiver Torrey Smith has become one of the NFL’s most dangerous deep threats. That’s why opponents have tried to neutralize the deep passing attack -- quarterback
87 -- receiving yards
Unlike some of the diva wide receivers from this era, Ravens wide Receiver Anquan Boldin doesn’t draw attention to himself -- unless you count devastating blocks like the one he laid on Chargers safety
65 -- yards after contact for running back
Ray Rice made something out of nothing when he took a dump-off from Flacco and improbably converted on that 4th-and-29 play. But Rice had been making something out of nothing all afternoon. According to Pro Football Focus, 65 of his 97 rushing yards in Sunday's win came after contact, which was a season-high. Rice averaged 3.0 yards after contact -- he broke five tackles as a runner -- and just 1.4 yards before contact.