Foster Stands In Way Of Defensive Rebound


The Ravens defense wants to clear its name after having historically bad performances the last two weeks against Kansas City and Dallas.

With a proud defensive tradition at stake, the Ravens are mad and want to turn things around.

"We should be pissed off and we are pissed off about the way we played – the things that we've put on film," Ravens safety Bernard Pollard said. "We own it. We are going to fix it, and I think it starts with the preparation throughout the week. Things are going to change."

The only problem is the NFL's second-leading rusher Arian Foster is next up on the Ravens schedule.

"We understand what we are going up against Sunday," Pollard said. "Arian is a great back."

Foster is no stranger to the Ravens defense, and he's gotten the best of them at times. He last faced the Ravens in January, in the divisional round of the playoffs, where he ran for 132 yards and a touchdown. Foster has twice crossed the 100-yard mark against the Ravens, and is one of just six running backs to go over 100 yards against the Ravens since the 2010 season.

Part of Foster's success is that he' a great fit within the Texans' stretch-zone running scheme. The scheme is built for backs to cutback across a defense, and he has a knack for finding the open hole.

"He has great vision," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "They have a great scheme. They've got really good offensive linemen within that scheme. They are really well-coached, and they understand that scheme probably better than anybody in football, and he probably understands how to run that scheme as well as any back in football. He's just kind of built for it."

The Texans offense is built around Foster and the run, which then opens up other options.

But he is coming off his worst performance of the season, as he ran the ball 17 times for 29 yards in a 42-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Texans fell behind early in that contest, which forced them to throw and eliminated Foster's role in the offense.

"We could not run the ball a lick last week and obviously weren't very successful as a football team," Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak said.

The Ravens, however, rank 26th in the NFL against the run, and they allowed 227 rushing yards to a Cowboys team last week that came into the contest averaging 67.8 rushing yards per game.

"We can't talk about anything being difficult to bring anyone down, because we haven't brought any [player down]," Pollard said. 

Improving the run defense has been a point of emphasis this week.

And with a matchup looming against Foster, the Ravens know they have to tighten up in that area if they want to come out of Houston with a victory.

"The yards we're giving up the ground are going to catch up with us at some point," Pollard said. "So we've got to nip that thing in the bud."

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