Originally written on Ravens Football Machine  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Houston-texans

The Ravens travel to Philly on Sunday, September 16, 2012, to face the Eagles... and one of their main concerns is to shore up their run defense after being gashed by Benjarvus Green-Ellis in their win over Cincy on Monday night...

This is easier said than done. No amount of improved gap-protection scheme or refined technique can take way from what LeSean McCoy can bring to a running attack when he is on...

Of course, if Joe Flacco can give you a 28-point lead throught the air going into the 4th quarter again, it won't matter...

But if the game is close, as most pundits believe it will be on Sunday, Shady McCoy could be the difference-maker...

The 4th year veteran out of Pitt has hit his stride.

He's good for at least 25 touches a game...and has a unique cut-back technique and a stutter-step that could leave the Ravens front three and OLB's in shambles if he is not contained.



Baltimore surrendered 129 total rushing yards to the Cincinnati Bengals in their first regular-season game without injured outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and departed outside linebacker Jarret Johnson. That cannot happen against the Eagles on Sunday if the Ravens intend to win on the road.

Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis logged 91 rushing yards on 18 carries, giving him a 5.1-yard average. He scored on a 6-yard, fourth-down touchdown run after bouncing off a couple of Ravens defenders. “We’ve got to stop the run better on first down, without question,” Harbaugh said immediately after the game. “We did not do a good job with that.

“There were a lot of second-and-threes, third-and-ones and that’s going to be tough to defend no matter what you do, so I think it starts with that.” After watching the game tape, Harbaugh’s stance didn’t change.

Asked how important it will be to tighten up the run defense going forward, Harbaugh said “very important.” “Run-defense is critically important,” he added. “It’s a staple for us. It’s how we base our whole philosophy defensively. That’s where it starts, and we’re going to have to do it. It was all very correctable stuff. That’s the good news.”

The Ravens have ranked in the league’s top five in rush defense the past six seasons.

“It was just little minor technique errors on our part that we can fix, we should fix,” Harbaugh said. “Probably guys trying to do more than they actually should try to do, and [they need to] continue to have confidence in the guys around them a little more.”

One player who shined was linebacker Ray Lewis, who notched a game-high 14 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. After the game, the middle linebacker said he feels “totally better” at his new trimmed weight.

“He was all over the field,” Harbaugh said. “He’s moving really well, he’s still physical at the point of attack.”

Lewis and his crew will be severely tested by the zone-blocking running attack of the Eagles and McCoy in particular.

It's no secret that the Eagles and QB Michael Vick intend to wear the Ravens front seven down with McCoy, who has averaged over 100 yards rushing per game for over two years now in addition to his 30-to-40 pass reception yards per game, too.

McCoy rarely fumbles, also...although he did lose a crucial fumble in the Eagles' 17-16 win over the Cleveland Browns last week in their opener.

We'll see what defensive adjustments the Ravens make to take away the rushing lanes that BenJarvus Green-Ellis exploited so glaringly against them on Monday night. Had that been a closer game, the success the Bengals had running against the Ravens' 3-4 would be all we were talking about today.

It was upsetting to a lot of fans in Baltimore that Green-Ellis just kept advancing on nearly every carry with no problems. The fact that Harbaugh commented on it hopefully means that defensive coordinator Dean Pees will pay some attention to it prior to the Ravens' attempt at shutting down McCoy next weekend.

Any way you look at it, the challenge to stop McCoy and the Eagles' running game has suddenly become a crucial test for the Ravens, who must prove for the first time in years that their overall team defense is not in decline.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chris Paul ruled out for Game 1 against Rockets

Stephen Curry thanks father in touching MVP speech

Lawrence Taylor's son pleads guilty to statutory rape

49ers FB Bruce Miller charged with vandalism

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN out of draft interview

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Some Colts players unhappy with first-round pick

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: Focus is on Julio Jones contract

Irvin on Seahawks not picking up option: ‘F— that option’

Brandon Prust rips referee, accuses him of on-ice trash talk

LeBron James ditched headband to look more like teammates

Report: Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

WATCH: Chris Johnson wants to play for the Cowboys

WATCH: Chewbacca throws out 1st pitch at Red Sox game

WATCH: Kyrie Irving carves up Bulls' defense for layup

WATCH: Metallica goes Jimi Hendrix for national anthem

Brandon McCarthy shares disturbing info about himself

Ole Miss fan got pregnant because of upset over Alabama

Willie Cauley-Stein legally changes middle name to 'Trill'

Marcus Mariota welcomed to Tennessee with billboard

Five takeaways from the first round of the NBA playoffs

NFL has a Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents who could become NFL stars

WATCH: ESPN reporter calls first First Take a 'train wreck'

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

NFL has Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents to watch

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN

Life without Love: The new-look Cavs

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.