Jets Run Defense Searching For Answers

The Ravens’ next opponent, the New York Jets, is uncharacteristically giving up the run.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy, Week 4 vs Jets

New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan is not used to being among the NFL’s bottom in allowing rushing yards, but after three games, the former Ravens defensive coordinator finds his unit ranked 31st in yards allowed.

For a Ravens rushing offense that is always looking to get things going on the ground, Sunday’s matchup with their old comrade could prove to be profitable.

The Jets are coming off a rough performance against the Oakland Raiders, where running back Darren McFadden exploded for 171 yards towards the Raiders’ 234-yard day.

After the game, Ryan was definitely not happy.

“Our defense let us down clearly,” Ryan said.

Heading into Week 4, the Ravens has seen success running, despite Joe Flacco’s 389-yard outburst last week in the St. Louis Rams massacre.

Baltimore is currently fifth in the league with 5.1 rushing yards per play.

Against the Rams, explosive running back Ray Rice rushed for 81 yards on only nine carries, including a 53-yard burst.

Meanwhile, the Jets are allowing 136.7 rushing yards per game.

Ryan, who led Ravens defense for four years and never dropped below the top 10 in run defenses, said his team’s performance is unacceptable.

“Quite honestly there’s only one other time I can remember a game like that happening to me, and I’ve coached, what, 15 years in the NFL? So it doesn’t sit too well with me or anybody in this organization and the good news is we get to play Sunday,” Ryan said in quotes distributed by the team. “The bad news is that we have to play against a team that is rolling right now. You have Baltimore and then New England right after that.

“Probably two of the toughest teams that you could face. So we’re going to find out about ourselves big-time these next couple weeks.

Still, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh isn’t taking anything for granted.

“I am not really making any historical statement about characteristics,” Harbaugh said Monday. “We’ll just look at what they are as a team and try to find a way to be our best football team on Sunday and try to be a very good football team. That’s all.

“They are a very good football team – very aggressive, very tough, very determined. They have a lot of playmakers – that’s the biggest thing.”

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