Ravens Won’t Force The Run

The Ravens will face another tough run defense against Seattle’s 4-3 scheme.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Saturday, November 12th, 2011 at 11:10 am | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Ryan Mink, Week 10 vs Seahawks

How often do you hear this from a Pro Bowl NFL running back?

With the success that the Ravens have been having through the air recently, the Ravens’ Ray Rice said he told Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron he doesn’t need to “force” the run game.

“I told Cam, I told the guys, I am not going to be a guy that begs for the ball. I want it to be a situation where he is calling the game, and he is comfortable,” Rice said.

“Any time you try to force any situation, bad things happen. We are where we are. The run game, I think, is still effective. Guys have to go into the game respecting it.”

Baltimore’s passing offense has piled up 573 yards over the past six quarters. The running game, meanwhile, has tallied 208 collective yards over the past three games. Rice has 134 rushing yards during that span. The Ravens are averaging 3.9 yards per carry.

Statistics don’t tell the full story. The Ravens had a 76-yard touchdown called back on the first play of the game against the Steelers. They started the game against Arizona running the ball with success, but had to go almost exclusively to the air to rally from 21 points down.

Still, Baltimore would like to see more from its ground game.

“We’ve got good backs,” Cameron said. “Especially as the weather turns and we’re heading down the stretch here, we have to pick up our running game a little bit.”

It’s going to be a challenge in Seattle, however. The Seahawks are tied with the Ravens for second in the league in average yards allowed per rush (3.4).

They also run a 4-3 defense that, as Head Coach John Harbaugh said, the Ravens “haven’t done that well against this year.”

Both of the Ravens’ losses have come against 4-3 fronts. They had 45 yards against it in Tennessee and 34 in Jacksonville. Baltimore got two wins against the 4-3 this season versus St. Louis and Arizona but did most of their damage in the air.

Rice said it’s more of a downhill blocking scheme against a 4-3 rather than the Ravens’ zone stretch running. It’s an adjustment process that they make during the week of practice.

“You can’t run the same kind of runs against a 3-4 that you are going to run against a 4-3,” Rice said. “You have to attack them.”

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