Each Wednesday, reporter Matt Vensel highlights five stats that really mean something for the Ravens.
958 -- rushing yards for Ray Rice in 11 games against the Cleveland Browns, his most against any team.
It has been a disappointing season for Rice, who ranks 39th in the NFL with 242 rushing yards. Five quarterbacks have picked up more yards on the ground, including Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs, who is not exactly known for his legs. However, if there were a week for Rice to get back on track, it might be this week in Cleveland. The Browns have a strong defense, but history is on his side. Two years ago, he ran for a career-high 204 yards in Cleveland. Overall, Rice has rushed for 958 yards -- the most he has had against one team in his career -- and four touchdowns in 11 career games against the Browns.
six -- touchdowns allowed by the Ravens since Week 2.
The Ravens allowed seven touchdowns in their season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos, but no defense has since protected its end zone better than the Ravens, who lead the NFL in red-zone defense. The Ravens have allowed just six touchdowns since Week 2, the lowest total in the NFL (and Joe Flacco's pick-six against the Miami Dolphins accounted for one of those), according to Ravens media relations. And since Week 2, they are allowing just 16.5 points per game, which is third in the NFL. Where would the Ravens be without that D?
111.1 -- Flacco’s NFL passer rating on play-action passes.
A secondary reason why it would be nice if the Ravens could get their running game going is that Flacco has been efficient on play-action passes this season. Flacco is 20th in the NFL with 40 play-action attempts, according to Pro Football Focus, but teams are still respecting his fakes. He has completed 27 of his play-action passes for 267 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His 111.1 passer rating on such throws ranks ninth in the NFL. His passer rating is 73.2 on throws without a play fake.
15 -- straight games with two-plus sacks for the Ravens.
The Ravens are fifth in the NFL with 25 sacks and have recorded at least two sacks in each of their games this season. In fact, the Ravens have produced at least two sacks in 15 straight games, according to Ravens media relations. It is the league's longest streak of its kind and the longest by a team since the New York Giants did it in 16 straight games, a streak that started in 2010 and ended in 2011. The last team that held the Ravens under two sacks? You guessed it, the Browns in Week 9 last season.
zero -- drops for Torrey Smith on 57 targets this season.
The Ravens wide receiver dropped 13 passes in his first two seasons in the league, according to Pro Football Focus, but in his third NFL season, Smith has yet to drop a pass on 57 targets. He is one of two NFL wide receivers with 45 or more targets who had yet to drop a pass. The other is Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Bloggers note: Have a nifty stat you want to share? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at me at @mattvensel. If I use it, I’ll be sure to give you a nice plug on the blog.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun