Baltimore’s 5 Woeful Pass Blockers

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In a given week, PFF assigns 13 unit grades to each of the 32 teams. Across all 416 grades from Week 1, only one failed to break 30.0: Baltimore’s pass-blocking unit.

To Las Vegas’s credit, their pass-rushing unit was the second-highest graded unit behind Tampa Bay’s passing grade.

Anyway, let’s look at the six Ravens that played meaningful snaps against the Raiders.

Baltimore Ravens’ Offensive Line

LANDOVER, MD – AUGUST 28: Ronnie Stanley #79 of the Baltimore Ravens lines up against the Washington Football Team during the first half of the preseason game at FedExField on August 28, 2021 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Left Tackle: Ronnie Stanley

In his 2019 All-Pro season, Ronnie Stanley played 543 pass-blocking snaps (including playoffs). He allowed 10 pressures. Only the Titans were able to get more than three pressures in a game. Against the Raiders, Stanley surrendered nine pressures on 40 pass-blocking snaps.

Yes, Stanley drew a tough matchup in speed rusher Yannick Ngakoue, but it was an abysmal performance from the All-Pro. He had a rocky 27.7 pass-blocking grade. It was the worst pass-blocking grade of his career and his first game below 70.0 since Week 12 of 2018.

Stanley would be a prime bounce-back candidate, but he is nursing an injury. He will likely not be at full health until late in the season.

Left Guard No.1: Tyre Phillips

Tyre Phillips left with an injury after 29 snaps (18 pass-blocking). He did not surrender a pressure, but he posted just a 47.4 pass-blocking grade. The culprit for this was lost reps on quick passes.

Allowing zero pressures is a good thing, but Phillips needs to improve his rep-to-rep consistency. Not every lost rep will turn into a pressure, but it is unlikely to surrender pressure while winning the rep.

Phillips left the game with a knee injury, and he found himself on the short-term injured reserve. This will not end his season, but he will miss the rest of September at a minimum. In a corresponding move, Baltimore activated Andre Smith.

Left Guard No.2: Ben Powers

With Phillips heading to injured reserve, Ben Powers will take over at left guard for the time being. He will have to hold off rookie Ben Cleveland, but he has the job for now. On Monday night, Powers allowed a pair of pressures en route to a 34.4 pass-blocking grade.

Powers was beaten for a sack after filling in for Phillips. Similar to Phillips, the number of pressures is not necessarily the issue. Powers was reliably beaten on a snap-to-snap basis. Without a rock-solid run-blocking grade, Powers would likely be finding a spot on the bench behind Cleveland.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: Offensive guard Bradley Bozeman #77 of the Baltimore Ravens in action during the NFL game at Allegiant Stadium on September 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Ravens 33-27 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Center: Bradley Bozeman

In his first NFL action at center, Bradley Bozeman played reasonably well. Per PFF, he allowed zero pressures and posted a slightly above average 61.8 pass-blocking grade. According to PFF, he won all of his pass-blocking reps, one of eight centers in the league to do so.

It was just one game, but on a line that combined for a 28 pass-blocking grade, it is a start. Moving forward, Baltimore needs steady snapping and protection calls from Bozeman. Even if Bozeman is a league-average center, it is an excellent start.

Right Guard: Kevin Zeitler

Kevin Zeitler must have missed the memo. He was the only Raven to have multiple pass-blocking snaps and record a grade higher than 65.0 (79.9). Zeitler allowed one hurry on 40 pass-blocking snaps, giving him a 98.7 efficiency mark.

He was the single-best player on the offensive line, and his rigidity is a plus as the Ravens look to rebound. Zeitler has been an exceptional pass blocker for much of his career, so this is unlikely to be an aberration.

In his first nine seasons, Zeitler earned a 90.0 season grade once, a quartet of grades in the 80s, and three more grades in the 70s. His worst season was 2020, with a 68.7 grade. That 68.7 grade would be the best on the offensive line at the moment.

Right Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva

13.4. That is not a typo. 10 pressures. That is also not a typo. Alejandro Villanueva was a catastrophe as a pass blocker on Monday night. On 25% of pass-blocking reps, Villanueva was not only beaten, but he surrendered pressure. He had always been a sturdy pass blocker, never grading lower than 71.3 in a full season.

This was Villanueva’s worst game of his career. While he was not as consistent as Stanley had been in recent years, Villanueva was generally competent. He needs to be significantly better for the Ravens to have any hope of being able to move the football. Like the other four positions, Baltimore just needs average play.

BALTIMORE, MD – JULY 31: Alejandro Villanueva #78 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on during training camp at M&T Bank Stadium on July 31, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Silver Lining:

If there is a bright side to the offensive line’s performance, they held up well in run blocking. They ranked 11th in run-blocking grade across the league. If Stanley plays, all five Ravens offensive linemen will have an above-average run-blocking grade heading into Week 2, led by Villanueva’s 73.0. This is far from elite, but it does give a floor to Baltimore’s offensive line. They can still run the football.

Thanks for reading my Baltimore Ravens offensive line article. For more content, follow me @mrsplashman19 and follow the OTH Football page.

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Main Image Credit

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 13: Offensive guard Ben Powers #72 of the Baltimore Ravens looks to block during a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on September 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Ravens 33-27 in overtime. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

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Ryan Potts is an avid football and baseball fan. He covers the NFL and Major League Baseball, focusing on the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Braves.