The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl last season with a shaky defense. The Ravens defense allowed 428.2 yards per game in the playoffs which is the most by any Super Bowl team in NFL history. If I could point to one thing that shocked me last year it would be the fact that the Ravens won it all with an average at best defense.
The Ravens can’t get away with playing inconsistent football on defense entering the 2013 season. If they do, they won’t make the playoffs. During the Ravens’ first two preseason games, the defense showed the ability to collapse the pocket at times with their pass rush, and the ability to stop the run in certain circumstances. But at the same time the Ravens’ defense is still having issues containing running backs.
Against the Atlanta Falcons, running back Steven Jackson averaged 5.3 yards per carry against the Ravens first-team defense on eight carries, as they allowed 76 yards rushing in the first half. I don’t know where this defense started to struggle in this category, because it just feels like they don’t know how to contain running backs anymore. The Ravens started having these issues in December of 2011, and it doesn’t seem like they have had an answer for it since.
“We understand that to be the kind of defense that we want to be, we’ve got to stop the run,” Ravens defense end Chris Canty noted via baltimoreravens.com. “That’s the first goal every week.”
I hope Canty is right. With all of the changes the Ravens have had this offseason, the organization is banking on having an elite defense. With some of the question marks at the wide receiver position on offense, the Ravens may have to go back to relying on their defense for the time being. The defense better be up for the task if that is the case.