Ryan's defense by the numbers

January, 20, 2009
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

When Rex Ryan joined the Baltimore Ravens in 1999, he was trying to prove he belonged in the NFL.

Ravens Defense Since 1999
No. NFL Rank
PPG 17.1 1
Total YPG
Rush YPG
Shutouts 9 1
3rd-down 33.9 1
Rush TD 79
INT 212 1
Sacks 416 4
Sack Yds 2,736 2
His previous shot was tainted by assumptions of nepotism. His father, Buddy Ryan, hired twin sons Rex and Rob Ryan as assistants with the Arizona Cardinals in 1996. The staff was dismissed two years later with a record of 12-20.

Rex Ryan drifted to the University of Cincinnati and then to Oklahoma University before he obtained his next NFL opportunity, this time on his own.

He made it count -- and then some. Ryan will be introduced Wednesday as the next New York Jets head coach.

What the Ravens accomplished during Ryan's tenure was nothing short of sensational.

He began as the defensive line coach under coordinator Marvin Lewis and also worked three years under coordinator Mike Nolan -- both future head coaches -- before the Ravens promoted him in 2005.

Fewest 100-yard Rushers Allowed Since 1999
Team No.
Baltimore 18
Pittsburgh 20
Jacksonville 28
San Diego 29
Tennessee 30
From the time Ryan joined the Ravens, they have ranked at or near the top in every major team defensive stat: first in points allowed per game, second in total defense (behind the Pittsburgh Steelers by one-tenth of a yard), first in rushing yards allowed, first in takeaways, first in interceptions, first in shutouts, fourth in sacks and first in third-down conversions.

Of course, having such players as Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed, Rod Woodson and Peter Boulware helps.

The hallmark of Ryan's defense was its ability to shut down opposing runners. Since he became D-line coach they've allowed a 100-yard rusher only 18 times.

The Ravens hold the longest active streak of games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. They have done so 35 straight times, the last being Larry Johnson in December of 2006.

Over Baltimore's past 52 games, only two running backs have hit triple digits.

Ravens defensive coordinators since 1999
  Years Games PPG YPG Run YPG Pass YPG
Rex Ryan 2005-08 64 17.6 277.8 84.0 193.8
Mike Nolan 2002-04 48 18.8 302.0 103.7 198.3
Marvin Lews 1996-01 96 19.0 304.0 93.0 211.0



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?