Maybe LaMarr Woodley has been more effective than we think.
On the Ravens’ preview podcast, Ryan, Gretz and I mentioned how we hoped Woodley would have a big game against the Ravens, and how he’d seemed somewhat disappointing as a pass rusher.
But that was before I saw these stats. Football Outsiders has a team of volunteers that chart each and every game. And among their stats they log are quarterback hits, hurries and who induces holding calls.
According to FO’s stats, Woodley is fourth in the league in quarterback hurries this year in addition to his 6.5 sacks. Through the first 10 games of the season, Woodley is averaging 2.4 hurries per game. James Harrison is averaging 1.8 hurries per game (tied for 15th in the league).
Harrison also ranked third in the league in holding penalties induced (six this season) and he ranks in the top 20 in quarterback hits.
If Pittsburgh is going to beat the Ravens, they need Harrison and Woodley to keep Joe Flacco uncomfortable. It’s something they have managed to do in the past, and they will be helped by the fact that Michael Oher is banged up. The player I’ll be watching is Woodley — if he can beat Marshal Yanda consistently, it will go a long way toward beating Baltimore.