Through two weeks, one of the pleasant surprises of the Baltimore Ravens season has been rookie Zay Flowers. He put in work after the catch in week one and had a game-changing reception in week two. So, is this something to get excited about, or just some early rookie magic?
Here are some advanced stats to help you decided for yourself.
3. Zay Flowers has been better against zone coverage for the Baltimore Ravens
Zay Flowers is a smaller, shiftier receiver, so it would make sense that he is better at finding safety in the soft spots of the zone compared to beating his man one-on-one. With that said Flowers is much better against zone than man at this point. He has not been a complete letdown, but it is clear that they target Flowers when they see specific looks.
For example, he has two catches on four targets for 20 yards against man coverage. Meanwhile, he has seven catches for 110 yards against the zone. He has caught all seven of his targets as well. Flowers is averaging 2.75 yards per route run against zone and 1.43 against man.
Still, this works for the Ravens. They have Odell Beckham, who is more well-known as the man-beater. Beckham is targeted 57% of the time he runs a route in man this year, while Flowers is targeted just 27% of the time against man.
However, against the zone, Flowers is targeted 47% of the time, and Beckham sees targets just 29% of the time. So, the split is natural. As Flowers gets better at his route running and gets off, he can play better against man coverage. For now, the Ravens like to use him in motion to get him off of the line of scrimmage clean, and then they target him when they see zone coverage.