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Big Play Index: Can the Ravens Stop Justin Herbert?

Can the Ravens Stop Justin Herbert?

The 33rd Team introduced the Big Play Index last season to show how NFL teams stack up in terms of big plays produced and big plays allowed.

The Big Play Index has a new and improved formula with the help of former NFL head coach Marc Trestman. When Trestman coached in the NFL, his definition of a “big play” was a run of 10-plus yards and/or a pass of 16-plus yards. Ultimately, BPI correlates the ability to create explosive plays, while also limiting the opponent, and the success of the team (based on wins).

Heading into Week 6, we take a look at some key matchups that could be influenced by each team’s ability to generate or stop big plays.

Chargers v. Ravens: For another week we must bring up the explosive Chargers offense, tied for 3rd in big plays for, as they square up against a Ravens defense that is struggling tremendously to stop explosives with the 3rd most big plays allowed.

Baltimore has struggled to stop big plays on the ground and through the air, and will be particularly tested by the Chargers aerial attack (2nd most big passes for). On the other side of the coin, the Ravens have an offense creating even more big plays than the Chargers, as they rank 2nd in big plays for. This should be a remarkably high scoring game with two of the top 3 most explosive offenses in football in 2021.

Packers v. Bears: The Packers defense has been amazingly stout at stopping explosive plays to start the season, firmly sitting tied for 2nd in least big plays allowed on defense. This is due to a good mix of strong run defense and an even better pass defense (though this could take a hit without Jaire Alexander in the lineup). This week, based on the numbers, they shouldn’t worry too much. The Bears offense is the 2nd least explosive team in the NFL thus far with only 27 total explosive plays. Chicago has generated by far the least amount of big passes (11 with next closest being 17). Their run offense has been middle of the pack, but down David Montgomery and Damien Williams, they will be relying solely on 6th round rookie Khalil Herbert and Ryan Nall, who has less than 15 offense touches in his career.

More strength vs weakness matchups:
– Browns big run offense (strong) vs Cardinals big run defense (weak)
– Bills big pass defense (strong) vs Titans big pass offense (weak)

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