Lewis To Hillis: ‘It Won’t Happen Again’

The Ravens surrendered 144 rushing yards to Browns running back Peyton Hillis in Week 3.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Categories: 2010 Season, Ryan Mink, Week 16 at Browns

When Browns running back Peyton Hillis came to Baltimore in Week 3, he was a backup that linebacker Terrell Suggs said he had never heard of.

So when Hillis, who was filling in for injured starter Jerome Harrison, busted out for 144 yards and a touchdown, the Ravens’ proud defense was shocked.

“[As] our team’s leader, it won’t happen again,” linebacker Ray Lewis said. “I hope [the Browns] understand that.

“We’re not coming in there to overlook them or nothing and we definitely aren’t coming in there to give him over 100 yards again. So hopefully they can buckle up all their chin straps and do whatever you need to do, but we’re definitely coming in to play a very physical football game.”

Hillis ran the ball 22 times for 144 yards and a touchdown on Sept. 26, putting Cleveland in position to pull out a win. He had a run of 48 yards late in the third quarter and also had a 25-yard gain earlier in the game.

“A blind cat will find a meal every once in a while,” Lewis said. “We understand the two big runs we gave up against them.

“My son could have run through the holes that we gave him in Baltimore. We just don’t do that. When you find yourself getting caught out of gaps, that’s what happens and it’s his job to run through them. But when we get back to Cleveland this weekend, it’ll definitely be a different outcome.”

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound bruiser has run over more teams than just Baltimore. He’s tenth in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,129 and tied for third in rushing touchdowns with 11.

Head Coach John Harbaugh partly credited the Browns’ offensive line, which includes a pair of 6-foot-6 blockers on the left side in Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas and veteran guard Eric Steinbach and mauling center Alex Mack in the middle.

“[Hillis] complements their offensive line very well,” Harbaugh said. “They come off the ball.  They’re very physical.  They run pretty much every I-formation running scheme there is and they do it really effectively.”

Harbaugh said on his weekly radio show that the Ravens may have to commit an extra safety to play near the line of scrimmage.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said Baltimore will try to force Hillis sideways, something Ngata said the north-south runner doesn’t like to do.

But Hillis, a 2008 seventh-round draft choice who the Browns acquired via trade from the Denver Broncos this offseason, isn’t just a threat on the ground.

He also leads the Browns in receptions with 59. Hillis has 469 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.

“He’s got incredible hands, like Ray Rice’s-type hands,” Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini said. “They’re both guys that seem to catch everything that’s thrown to them.”

The Ravens rank fifth in the NFL against the run, allowing 93.6 yards per game. They held New Orleans’ downhill rushing attack to just 27 yards this past Sunday. That was the fifth-fewest rushing yards allowed in a single game in Ravens team history.

“They’re excellent at stopping the run,” Mangini said. “I’m sure they’re not going to let that happen again. They’ve been correcting things when there’s a hiccup. We’re going to have our work cut out for us in that area.”

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