The Baltimore Ravens had been in a bit of a predicament with Geno Stone in recent weeks. Stone is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season, but he was only playing so much because Marcus Williams was injured. When Williams returned, the Ravens tried to move Stone from free safety, where Williams is the starter, to strong safety. This pushed Kyle Hamilton into the slot where he is arguably at his best.
The Baltimore Ravens played Geno Stone less and Ronald Darby more
So, while this went well for Williams and Hamilton, it has brought out the worst of Geno Stone. Weeks 12-15 was the worst run of his season, as he totaled as many missed tackles in that span as he did the entire rest of the season.
That is because, for the season, he has played 70% of his snaps as a deep safety, further from the line. However, in that span, he played deep just 45%, with 55% of his snaps coming in the box as the strong safety.
The Ravens wanted to keep Stone on the field, but they also did not want to see him continue to struggle. Early into the 49ers game, they did limit his snaps, but it may have been for the better.
In certain looks, the Ravens would put Marlon Humphrey in the slot with Ronald Darby on the outside across from Brandon Stephens. This pushed Hamilton back into the strong safety role and took Stone off of the field.
Darby ended up playing 26 snaps at cornerback, 37% overall. By the end of the game, Kyle Hamilton's injury had Stone back into safety at a full-time capacity. With that in mind, we could not see just how much the Ravens wanted to cut into his workload because the team finished with Stone and Williams at safety and Humphrey, Stephens, and Darby at cornerback.
Still, the results worked. It was the best game that Stone had by PFF grade since week 11, and it was only the second positively graded game for Stone since Williams returned from his injury.
The Ravens will likely want Darby on the field against the Miami Dolphins speed at wide receiver. They also may want Marlon Humphrey in the slot because Tyreek Hill runs out of that area a lot. Kyle Hamilton is unlikely to miss this game, so it will be interesting to see how much they limit Geno Stone and how little he plays in the box on Sunday.