Steelers-Ravens play to watch: Misdirection provides Flacco opportunity for big play
It’s no secret Joe Flacco likes to throw deep.
The reason? He’s good at it, and even if he weren’t, the pass-interference rules that favor receivers, especially with the deep ball, can create a significant play.
The Ravens have been the most successful team in the league over the past five years in drawing pass interference. And, often, those calls have come on the deep pass.
Baltimore has been the beneficiary of eight pass-interference calls in eight games that have resulted in 187 yards — both league highs.
The Ravens have led the league in total yards gained by pass-interference calls in three of the last four years. In 2012, they finished 7 yards behind the Colts.
When the Steelers host the Ravens on Sunday night at Heinz Field, they are going to have to be ready for the deep pass, especially the weak tight twins PA roll Z post.
“We aren’t going to change anything,” Steelers cornerback Brice McCain said. “We are going to play physical, and we aren’t going to back off somebody because they might call something or not. If they call it, they call it. We are going to play every ball the same.”
The play is a staple of the Ravens playbook and usually results in something positive.
The way the Ravens run their weak tight twins PA roll Z post is to play off their zone-stretch run play, the play that gave the Steelers fits during the teams’ first meeting.
The outside zone-stretch action by the linemen creates flow to one side, with three receivers in the pass pattern coming across the formation.
The Ravens set up in a strong right formation, with tight end Crockett Gilmore at the end of the line and Kyle Juszczyk at the typical fullback position in the I-formation in front of tailback Justin Forsett.
Wide receivers Torrey Smith and Steve Smith Sr. line up tight to the left, with Smith Sr. off the line of scrimmage but close to Smith. This provides a better chance of running pass routes without being jammed at the line of scrimmage.
At the snap, the offensive line steps left in unison similar to a stretch play, creating flow to the ball by the defense. Flacco fakes a handoff to Forsett and half rolls to his right.
Juszczyk fakes a lead block before twisting across the formation and into the right flat while Forsett carries out his play fake.
Smith comes across the middle of the field on a deep cross while Smith Sr. runs a deep cross that more resembles a deep corner route.
With flow going to the left, Flacco rolling to the right has a clear shot at any of the receivers in the route: Juszczyk in the flat, Smith deep across the middle or Smith Sr. down the field.
Typically, Flacco chooses the deep route.