The Ravens end the preseason with meaningless preseason stats. Are these numbers indicators or irrelevant?
Here are the results:
1. In the preseason, the Ravens led the league in rushing yards and attempts. At 4.4 yards/game, the Ravens were about 42% more efficient than last year.
Preseason history: The Bills lead the league in preseason and regular season rushing attempts last year and the Seahawks were #1 then #2 in 2012. We should expect our run-heavy offense to continue.
Ravens history: Preseason to regular season rushing ypc: 3.6 to 3.8 in 2010, 4.6 to 4.3 in 2011, 4.3 to 4.3 in 2012, 3.0 to 3.1 in 2013. That's a 97% correlation. Mathematically, the Ravens should expect 4.3 yards per carry.
2. Flacco ended the preseason with a passer rating of 102.5.
Ravens history: Flacco's 2012 preseason rating doesn't match his 2012 regular season rating, but if we average the regular season with the playoffs (telling ourselves that preseason was a mix of both coordinators), here are the numbers: 93.4 to 88.9 in 2009, 90.9 to 93.6 in 2010, 82.7 to 80.9 in 2011, 101.6 to 102.5 in 2012, 76 to 73.1 in 2013. Again, 97.1% correlation. By this model, Flacco's rating should be 103.4 this season.
3. On defense, the Ravens lead the league in yards allowed (245.8).
Preseason history: Last year, the 49ers, Redskins and Seahawks were the best defenses in the preseason. 2 of those 3 ranked in the top 5. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be much correlation between top defenses in preseason and regular season.
Ravens history: 323.5 to 318.9 in 2010, 323.0 to 288.0 in 2011, 366.0 to 350.9 in 2012, 335.5 to 315.8 in 2013. 87.6% correlation. The Ravens would average 217 yards per game allowed (which is ridiculous - don't expect this). In each of these last four years, the Ravens (and most teams) gave up more yards in the preseason than the regular season.
The reason for us leading the league is that teams playing the Ravens averaged a paltry 50 offensive plays per game, by far the lowest of any defense. If the run game continues in this fashion, the defense would be incredibly well-rested by the 4th quarter.
4. The Ravens averaged 5.2 yards per play on offense.
Ravens history: 4.8 to 5.1 in 2010, 5.0 to 5.2 in 2011, 5.1 to 5.4 in 2012, 4.8 to 4.5 in 2013. Correlation of .77. That would leave us averaging 5.6 yards per play on offense. Not a whole lot of correlation, but it is the most we've averaged in the preseason since at least 2009 (I don't have the numbers).
If you have any thoughts about what we've seen from the team so far and regular season expectations, post them here.