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Is the Ravens' run defense becoming an issue at bad time?

Is the Ravens' run defense becoming an issue at bad time?

Is the Ravens’ run defense becoming an issue at a critical time?

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is averaging 142.6 yards per carry in his last five games. If the Ravens can’t stop Bell during the Ravens-Steelers Christmas afternoon showdown in Pittsburgh, Bell could run the Ravens right out of a playoff spot.

Ryan Mathews of the Eagles gashed the Ravens’ run defense Sunday for 128 yards on 20 carries. So are the Ravens concerned? Not enough for defensive end Lawrence Guy to lose confidence.

“We’ll figure it out watching the film and get it right,” Guy said. “I could tell you this, it’s not going to happen again.”

However, Bell isn’t easy to contain, and the Ravens’ defense may be feeling the impact of a demanding season. The team’s leading tackler, inside linebacker Zach Orr, kept playing Sunday after suffering a stinger, but Orr has carried a heavy workload. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs has been playing with a torn biceps for weeks.

The Ravens are still ranked second in the NFL against the run, yielding 82.1 yards per game, trailing only the Cowboys (80.9). However, the Ravens’ front seven was neutralized by the Eagles, who provided Mathews with gaping holes to run through.

“I think they did a good job of scheming us up and just blocking us,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “It’s a stretch-zone scheme, and they were doing a great job of reaching out guys and cutting us off on the backside. We’re going to have to work on that, because we could see that next week (against the Steelers)."

Surely, the Steelers noticed the success the Eagles had running the football. The Ravens believe they are capable of containing Bell. But their run defense needs to be far better than it was on Sunday.

MORE RAVENS: Grading Baltimore's offense vs. Eagles

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Free agent Gerald McCoy to visit Baltimore

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USA Today Sports Images

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Free agent Gerald McCoy to visit Baltimore

Kick off your holiday weekend with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. One of the most obvious needs for the Ravens is help rushing the passer, and they're hoping to find some of that help on the interior in the form of free agent Gerald McCoy. The longtime Buccaneer DL visited Cleveland last week, but left town without agreeing to a contract.

Reportedly interested in playing for a contender, the former top-five pick is scheduled to visit the Ravens on Tuesday.

2. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is still struggling to throw the ball, as he noted things aren't right yet when it comes to accuracy. Media members noticed the ball wobbling through the air on many throws, and Jackson told them he thinks his hand is too high on the ball. If he's going to successfully run Greg Roman's new offensive scheme, Jackson will eventually need to be able to hit his receivers in stride with greater regularity.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson is his own biggest critic

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson is his own biggest critic

Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including how quarterback Lamar Jackson has fared during OTAs.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. Following a January surgery on his left ankle, safety Tony Jefferson remains sidelined after the first week of OTAs. Originally, Jefferson was expected to return 4-6 weeks after surgery. However, now that it's 5 months later, his return timetable is becoming more and more concerning. 

2. Quarterback Lamar Jackson spoke with Ravens media Thursday about his progress not only learning the new offense implemented by Offensive Coordinator, Greg Roman, but learning the names of his new teammates as well. After another day of OTAs, Jackson was his biggest critic despite a solid day of running plays namely passing drills. “I’d say my first day, I sucked,” Jackson said to Ravens media. “Second day, I did better. Today was alright, but it could have been better. I always try to be perfect in practice. It was alright for the first week.”

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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