By: Ian Logue
One of the things that has been talked about recently has been the Patriots defensive performance on third down. Sunday they held the Ravens to 5-of-16 (31%) and the defense stopped Baltimore on their final five possessions of the game, three of which came during the overtime period.
Here’s a look at each of the third down situations that took place for New England’s defense against the Ravens Sunday.
1st HALF 3rd DOWN SITUATIONS:
1) 3rd & 10 – Defense gives up a 15-yard catch and run to T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
2) 3rd & 9 – They gave up a 17 yard gain to Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap, who was matched up on Guyton. Jermaine Cunningham was called for an offside penalty on the play, but it was declined.
3) 3rd & 9 – They pick up 7 to Derrick Mason, Devin McCourty pushed him out of bounds just short. That play led to a 26-yard field goal to put the Ravens up 3-0 early in the first quarter.
4) 3rd & 4 – Mike Wright sacks Flacco and forces a punt.
5) 3rd & 11 – Completed to Derrick Mason for 14-yards who had McCourty playing off of him.
6) 3rd & 13 – False start on Michael Oher – he was nervous about Cunningham who had success for much of the afternoon against him. No play.
6) 3rd & 18 – Flacco completes a short pass to Ed Dickson for 7-yards, brought down by Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich.
7) 3rd & 6 – Flacco runs for what looked to be a first down after he reached out for it and ended up fumbling it forward after Kyle Arrington hit the ball with his foot, and Ray Rice recovered it. Bill Belichick challenged the call, and the Ravens ended up with 4th & 1 and punted it away.
8) 3rd & 9 – Flacco short pass to Ray rice for four yards, brought down by Guyton.
2nd HALF 3rd DOWN SITUATIONS:
9) 3rd & 4 – 18-yard completion to Mason who was drilled by Brandon Meriweather.
10) 3rd & 4 – Brandon Meriweather called for illegal contact on Boldin, which replay showed was a clean hit. However it also showed that the penalty should have likely been called on Kyle Arrington. No Play.
10) 3rd & 2 – Big hit by Patrick Chung on Mason for the incompletion. It forced the Ravens to have to settle for a field goal.
11) 3rd & 1 – QB Sneak on Flacco – the defense stuffed him and forced a punt.
12) 3rd & 6 – Flacco throws incomplete to Ray Rice who got hit hard on the play.
OVERTIME 3rd DOWN SITUATIONS:
13) 3rd & 5 – Flacco forced outside and throws incomplete to Anquan Boldin
14) 3rd & 1 – Ravens rush up the middle by Le’Ron McClain for the first down
15) 3rd & 6 – Flacco tried to go long up the sideline to Heap, but perfect coverage by Devin McCourty who leaped up and knocked it away.
16) 3rd & 19 – A short 9-yard pickup on a pass from Flacco to Rice, Ravens forced to punt.