Baltimore Ravens Need to Stop the Big Gains on the Ground

By Jermaine Lockett
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens’ run defense once again turned into turnstiles against the New England Patriots this past weekend.  Sure they didn’t give up 100 yards to one rusher, but they did give up 142 yards and two touchdowns on the ground this past Sunday against the Patriots.  Backs may not be seeing the century mark against the Ravens, but they are gashing the Ravens for big runs and moving the chains.  Should the Ravens be concerned?

The answer is yes. Toby Gerhart of the Minnesota Vikings got into the secondary during Week 14 and exposed the team’s poor tackling skills on the back end as he ran a beastly 41 yards to pay-dirt late in the fourth quarter.  That was only a scare as many assumed it was just a rough day in the snow.

The next jailbreak runner on the Ravens was Reggie Bush as he beat Terrell Suggs to the edge and gashed them for a 19-yd scamper to the end zone.  Baltimore did, however, bottle him up eventually and kept him out of the end zone and away from the century mark that night.

The next molestation of the defense I have already mentioned.  LeGarrette Blount and Steven Ridley constantly embarrassed the D with runs that extended drives.  So therein lies the question; where the heck is the run stop early in the game?  Why is there a constant breakdown with the integrity of this defense?  Dean Pees needs to pull this D together before what could be the final game of the season if they fail to show.

The Ravens may have only given up 94 total rushing yards to the Cincinnati Bengals last time, but with so much more on the line this weekend, both sides will be playing that much harder.  The Bengals’ passing attack is already on a roll; the last thing Baltimore needs is for them to establish a ground game as well.  John Harbaugh will once again need to pull his belt off and get this run stop back on the right page in order to kill the play action, hopefully hindering the Bengals’ passing game.

Jermaine Lockett is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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