To say that the Ravens’ ability to stop the running game has been up and down this year would be an understatement.
While the Ravens are allowing an average of 102.7 net yards of rushing per game (11th), they are only allowing 3.7 yards per rush, which ranks as the NFL’s sixth-best mark.
In Week four, Baltimore allowed a season-worst 203 rushing yards to the Buffalo Bills, yet followed that performance up with the best of their season thus far allowing the Dolphins to rush for just 22 yards. Sybil would be proud!
Through ten games this season, the Ravens run defense has allowed five 100+ yard games by opponents: Buffalo, Green Bay (140), Pittsburgh (141), Cincinnati (120) and Chicago (104). The Packers’ Eddie Lacy has thus far been the only back to individually top the 100-yard plateau against them.
In those games the Ravens went just 1-5; however, it would be unfair to say to blame the losses solely on the run defense.
In the other five games this season the Ravens kept the Broncos (65), Browns(65, 73), Texans (94) and Dolphins (22) under 100 yards rushing. The Ravens have a 3-1 record in those match-ups.
One stat that I find very interesting (and that I will somehow manage to curse the team with no doubt) is the fact they have given up just one rushing touchdown in 2013 and that was to the Bills’ Fred Jackson.
With their next three games at home against three quality backs the run defense will certainly have to be on their toes.
Chris Ivory, with 467 yards rushing, leads a Jets rushing game that ranks eighth in the NFL. After Ivory, the Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell will visit the Ravens on Thanksgiving night followed by future Hall-of-Famer Adrian Peterson.
The Ravens have a reputation of punishing running backs and as the weather gets cold, the Ravens’ playoff chances could fall on the run defense staying “heated.”
Follow me on Twitter @Sportguyrsr