The Cleveland Browns have a game Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, so they won't turn their attention to preparing for the Nov. 4 matchup against the Ravens until early next week. When they do, Ravens inside linebacker Jameel McClain can already predict what they will be thinking.
"It's the NFL. If you show a weakness, teams are going to [exploit] it. The next team is probably licking their chops," McClain said. "Cleveland is like, 'Man, we can go in there, and we can run the ball because they have been unsuccessful with it.' So, it's our job to step up and stop it and let the team after them see it on film and be like, 'Ah, I don't think that's going down. They have it back on track.' That's what we need to put on film, because it's the NFL. They don't coach against schemes. They coach up against weaknesses, and that's something that we've show. But it will be fixed, and it can be fixed. It's that easy."
The Ravens had their final practice Tuesday before many of the players head their separate ways to enjoy the rest of the bye week. For the Ravens' defense, the time off will provide an opportunity to ponder how to correct a unit that has been uncharacteristically exploited week after week.
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The Ravens rank 26th overall in defense, allowing 400 yards per game. They haven't finished a season ranked out of the top 10 in that category since 2002, and they've never allowed more than 340 yards per game for a season since their inaugural season in 1996, when they ranked 30th overall in defense and allowed 368.1 yards per game.
They are ranked 23rd against the pass (257.1 yards per game) and 27th (142.9 yards per game) against the run. Their 23 points per game allowed puts them in the middle of the pack, but it's still not a number the Ravens are used to giving up.
"It's definitely frustrating, because we know it's a higher standard in this organization, and we are here to uphold it," McClain said. "It's something that we've done before, and we still can continue to do it. We just have to get it done."
Outside linebacker Albert McClellan said the Ravens' defense hasn't lost confidence, but he acknowledged that things have to change.
"At the end of the day, they're our numbers. We would like for them to change. We've got to do something to get it changed," McClellan said. "We got to step our game up, that's the feeling. The Ravens are known for our defense. RIght now, we really need to step our game up. We want to keep up the tradition. That's what we have to focus on."
Second-year wide receiver Tandon Doss admitted that it was hard to celebrate his first NFL touchdown — a 15-yard connection with Joe Flacco in the third quarter Sunday — because the Ravens were down by so much, but he said, "Hopefully, there's more to come." … Rookie kicker Justin Tucker has connected on 14-of-15 field goal attempts and set a single-season team record with three field goals of 50 yards or longer. "Records are cool and everything, but, at the end of the day, all we care about is W's and L's," said Tucker, who plans to only kick once this week during the bye to rest his leg. "I feel like I'm hitting the ball well, but every day there's something I can get better at." … The Ravens will return to practice Monday. ... Former Ravens undrafted rookie safety Cyhl Quarles tried out for the Miami Dolphins, but he wasn't signed to a contract.
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