Starting left defensive end Carlos Dunlap wasn't himself against the Ravens. In 76 snaps, he only had three tackles, including one coverage sack. The sack was more about Flacco's stupidity than Dunlap's actions. Flacco held onto the ball for a full eight seconds to end the first half as Dunlap chased him around.
His second tackle was a nice play in run defense when he chased Justin Forsett down from the backside to stop him for a two yard gain. Dunlap was unblocked on the play.
His last tackle was another example of Joe holding onto the ball too long. Dunlap threw left tackle Eugene Monroe aside with ease, and knocked Flacco awkwardly to the ground with one swipe of his right arm.
These plays were nice, but, on the other 73 plays, Dunlap was completely invisible. He had one pressure on Flacco in these other 73 snaps. In fact, Pro Football Focus gave Dunlap a -2.7 rating in pass rush and a -1.3 rating in run defense. His -4.0 rating for the game was the worst on the entire defense. For perspective, Dunlap finished with at least 6 quarterback pressures in each of the Ravens games last year.
Fortunately for Dunlap, the NFL gods have smiled upon him in week two. Dunlap will line up against two backup tackles for the whole game- Lamar Holmes and Gabe Carimi.
Gabe Carimi is a journeyman tackle who is learning how to play left tackle after Sam Baker and Jake Matthews have gone down in the past few weeks. Mathews was declared out this morning.
Carimi earned the distinction of the worst graded player in the NFL (at any position) by PFF in week one, and he only played 61 of the offense's 75 snaps. He received a -3.3 grade in run blocking, allowed one sack and four quarterback hurries, and was called for three penalties (two false starts and one illegal hands to face).
Dunlap will get to push Carimi around when the Bengals are in nickel defense, because Dunlap moves to right defensive end in this package.
Last week, 54 percent of his pass rush snaps came from the left defensive end spot. So, Dunlap will mostly be lined up across from right tackle Lamar Holmes. Holmes was more of a turnstile than a starting tackle in 2013, when he was the third worst rated lineman in the league, according to PFF.
It's time for Dunlap to return to form and feast on some weaker competition.
Expect a big bounce back game from the defensive ends. They really didn't get to Flacco at all until his 87th and 88th snaps. Wallace Gilberry, Margus Hunt, and Robert Geathers should all get in on the action this week.