Run defense tightens with Suggs

Run defense tightens with Suggs
November 23, 2012, 6:00 am
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All of a sudden, the Ravens defense is making plays.

Its getting pressure on the quarterback and doing a reasonable job against the run, relatively speaking.

Linebacker Paul Kruger, slowed by a back injury to start the season, is playing up to his potential. Rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw is, too.

They're second in the NFL in turnover margin at plus-12.

"They have to account for Terrell Suggs at all times," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of his linebacker who missed the first six games while recovering from an Achilles tendon tear. "He’s getting better. You can start seeing some of his explosiveness coming back, some of his burst coming back as a pass rusher, so that’s only going to be more of a factor as we go forward."

The Ravens are far from the No. 2-ranked defense they had last season that allowed 92.6 rushing yards per game. Suggs was named 2011 Defensive Player of the Year.

They’re 25th overall this season. Against the run, they’re 27th, allowing 132.2 yards per game.

That’s still an improvement in recent weeks. The Ravens allowed 207 rushing yards per game during a three-week stretch going into the bye week, which included Suggs’ first game back against the Houston Texans.

In their last three wins, at the Cleveland Browns, vs. the Oakland Raiders and at the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens have given up 107.3 per game and 4.1 yards per carry.