A decision on whether Jackson (quadriceps injury) will play Sunday could again be made late, but don't expect the
"Whoever shows up, we'll be ready for," Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said. "It's the same run game. We fully expect him to play."
As dangerous and physical as Jackson is — and
Against two productive running backs over the first two weeks, the Ravens have allowed just 140 total rushing yards, fourth lowest in the
In the season opener, the
"We've done a good job up front so far," Ravens linebacker
A stout run defense, of course, is nothing new to the Ravens. They've ranked in the top five in the NFL in that area every season since 2006. Not coincidentally, that was defensive tackle
Since 2006, the Ravens have never allowed more than 93.9 yards per game on the ground. The 70 yards per game this season would be a low, but it would be foolish to draw too many conclusions after just two weeks. Still, the Ravens' defense does look as formidable as ever in the running game.
"Our front seven is rough," Lewis said. "We love that challenge. That challenge is, you're telling us that you're going to hand the ball to somebody a certain amount of times and they're going to get a certain amount of yards. So every week that's highlighted for us, and we take that personal. That's something that we've done for many, many years."
At 6 feet 2 and 240 pounds, Jackson is a rare combination of power and speed. He has 8,004 career rushing yards, 48 career rushing touchdowns, six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and 27 career 100-yard rushing games.
Jackson was hurt while getting just two carries (one went for a 47-yard touchdown) in the Rams' season-opening loss to the
Williams and Norwood are capable backs, but they would represent a huge drop-off, not that it matters to the Ravens.
"Cadillac kind of runs like a big guy," Johnson said. "He'll throw his body in there, try and run you over. He runs extremely hard; he's a one-cut guy. It doesn't change preparation. You're preparing for both of them. You know what Steven Jackson brings to the table. If he plays, he plays. If he doesn't, you still have a good back in there that you have to face."