The Cleveland Browns defense is a case study in opposites.
Their pass defense tops the NFL rankings, allowing an average of just 174.7 yards thus far. But the rush defense has surrendered an average of 138.6 yards, which ranks 29th in the league.
That would seem to fit the bill for running back Ray Rice and the rest of the Ravens’ ground attack. But Rice said the Browns are not as bad as the numbers appear to be.
“Well, it’s a new system for them,” he said. “If you look at what they played last year and look at what they’re playing this year, they were a 3-4 [alignment], and they’ve converted to a 4-3. A lot of different changes in there – the personnel, they’ve had some adversity. But needless to say, we know they’re going to come out [ready]. Obviously, if there’s something that needs to be fixed, they’re going to address the run game. I’m sure that’s going to be a top priority coming into this game. We have to execute against them in the front. They’ve got some guys playing really well on their defense. No. 52 [middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson] on their defense is playing really well. [Defensive tackle] Ahtyba Rubin is playing really well. Obviously, their corners, Joe Haden … they’ve got some guys on their defense that are capable players that are definitely altering the game plan. We can’t let those guys do that.”
Rice gets shot at Browns' porous run defense
Cleveland ranks 29th in NFL vs. run
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