Against the No. 1 defense in the NFL, the Ravens didn’t expect to put up big numbers against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ray Rice ran the ball 20 times, but he got only 40 yards in last week’s 13-10 victory. Bernard Pierce had just two carries for eight.
This week’s opponent, the San Diego Chargers, are ranked No. 8 in defense and the Ravens are likely to try to run the ball just as much, if not more.
"We’ve got to re-invent ourselves a week later. Pittsburgh’s front, it’s always been tough sledding against them," Rice said Wednesday. "I can’t remember the few games that I’ve had really breakout ones besides the one last year. … You just can’t run at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"With this week it’s the same kind of deal. Those are big, heavy guys up front. You’ve got to get them moving, and we’ve got to try to execute in the run game."
Though the production was lacking and the Ravens couldn’t generate an offensive touchdown, coach John Harbaugh was glad to see his team didn’t abandon the run game as it has done in early-season games.
The passing attack didn't help. Joe Flacco only threw for 164 yards against Pittsburgh. He has yet to throw for 200 yards or more on the road since Week 2.
Passing successfully will help the run. And vice versa.
"That’s not from a lack of blocking or a lack of execution," Rice said. "It’s more of a numbers game up there. You get those big guys moving and hopefully you get a crease."