The Baltimore Ravens have been struggling against the run this season. In fact, they’re ranked 30th in the league, allowing over 140 yards per game. While Ravens fans aren’t too happy about this, Trent Richardson surely is.
The matchup between Richardson and the Ravens’ defense should dictate this game. Through their last three games, the Ravens have allowed an unheard of 180 rushing yards per game. For the Browns, Richardson is coming off a 122-yard rushing performance against San Diego’s No. 1-ranked run defense.
This appears to be troublesome for the Ravens, especially if the Browns take the lead early on.
The Ravens are usually prone to abandon the run when behind on the scoreboard and this has often led to turnovers. If this scenario presents itself today, the Browns’ time of possession will skyrocket and they will be able to easily control the clock by pounding the ball with the rookie out of Alabama.
This is a nightmare scenario for the Ravens as we saw the Texans do this to perfection in Week 7.
For the Ravens to come out of Cleveland with a win, they must stop the run. This is much easier said than done, but the biggest problem for the Ravens has been on the defensive line.
The game of football is won in the trenches and the Ravens have been getting manhandled up front. Haloti Ngata hasn’t been at 100% because of his knee and this has hurt the defense tremendously. However, this injury isn’t the sole reason for their defensive woes. For example, watching the 350-pound Terrence Cody get pushed back five yards by 290 pound linemen is simply unacceptable.
The Ravens are getting pushed around on defense. They can’t shed blockers and as a result, are giving up huge chunks of yardage.
If the D-line doesn’t step up, we may be in for a long Sunday.