Ravens coach John Harbaugh is a not a big stats guy. We were reminded of that again Monday when a reporter posed a question about the resolve of the Ravens defense after it allowed Browns running back Peyton Hillis to eclipse the century mark Sunday.
"We don't dwell on that stuff -- stats," Harbaugh said at his weekly Monday press conference in Owings Mills. "I guess you can write an article about stats if you want. We're going to try to win the next game."
Defensively, the Ravens have put up some impressive numbers worth noting, especially if you wanted to write an article about stats. They are holding opponents to 13.7 points per game (fourth-best in the NFL). They have surrendered just two touchdowns (tied for first with the Steelers). And they are allowing 116.7 passing yards (first) and 244.3 total yards (first).
But there is one very concerning statistic the Ravens need to correct, especially if they are "going to try to win the next game" against the Steelers and their third-ranked rushing attack.
The Baltimore defense is allowing a very un-Ravens-like 4.7 yards a carry after Hillis, a fullback-turned-tailback, gashed the Ravens for 144 yards Sunday.
"You want to come out and you want to play balls-out and you want to hold people to [a limited number of] yards," linebacker Ray Lewis said after the Ravens' 24-17 win. "But you take away those two big plays that he had and … all it is is, one way or another, gap integrity. Bottom-line, you come back and you correct it and you move on."
Hopefully, for their sake, the Ravens can make some quick fixes. If Hillis can average 6.5 yards per pop against them, imagine what Rashard Mendenhall and the Steelers -- who are averaging 150 rushing yards a game -- can do if those holes in the front seven aren't plugged up.
My suggestion (a sentiment shared by many Ravens fans): Dress Terrence Cody. The team drafted the 350-pound nose tackle in the second round to be a mountain in the middle of their defensive line, but he has yet to play in a game after suffering a minor knee injury before the season opener.
Harbaugh said Monday that it's "possible" that Cody could play Sunday.
"Terrence is getting healthier, and he practiced well last week, and we'll see how it goes," he said. "But, we want to get him up if we can."
I think it's time we pull a Le'Ron McClain and start a "Cheeseburger 4 active roster" campaign. Who's in?