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RAVENS RUN OFFENSE VS. JAGUARS RUN DEFENSE
If last week was any indication, this is an area where the Ravens can exploit Jacksonville. The Jaguars run defense last Sunday surrendered 146 yards and a touchdown to the Pittsburgh Steelers Rashard Mendenhall, who frequently was able to beat defenders to the edge. Jacksonville is giving up 115 yards a game on the ground, which is 19th in the NFL. Paul Posluszny, a free agent signing from the Buffalo Bills, is sixth in the NFL with 55 tackles. He joins veteran Daryl Smith, the Jaguars franchise leader in tackles, in forming an active linebacker tandem. The Ravens got their running game going in the second half last Sunday against the Houston Texans, rushing for 91 yards after halftime, and getting Ray Rice over the 100-yard mark. The key to the turnaround was more inside rushing behind big fullback Vonta Leach. Rice is 11th in the NFL with 398 rushing yards on 89 carries, but nine of the 10 players ahead of him have at least 10 more carries than he does. The Ravens currently average 121.6 yards a game on the ground, the 12th-best total in the NFL. That number figures to improve when guard Ben Grubbs (toe) returns.
October 16, 2011