Haloti Ngata Having Another Standout Season


The Ravens are used to Haloti Ngata being a dominant player in the middle of the defense.

He's just been *particularly *impressive this season.

The veteran defensive tackle has been the anchor in the middle of Baltimore's defense, and he's playing as well as he has in the last few years.

"Haloti is having a really standout year," said Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees.

Much of the work that Ngata does goes unrecognized because he's often creating piles and eating up blockers to free up linebackers to make plays in space. He's still taking on plenty of that grunt work this season, which is a big part of the reason the Ravens haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in the last 20 games.

Ngata is also making the kind of impact plays that show up on the stat sheet. His stat line looks more like a defensive back, as he leads the Ravens with two interceptions, seven passes defensed and two forced fumbles. He also has 28 tackles and two sacks.

A big part of the reason that Ngata has thrived this year is the fact that he's stayed healthy. Ngata has started hot in previous seasons and then faded because he's fighting through injuries.

This year, however, Ngata has been healthy and dominant throughout the season.

"I think [being healthy is] probably part of it," Pees said.

The other piece of the equation is that the Ravens haven't moved Ngata around the defensive front as much as years past. He has the versatility to play every position along the defensive line, but this year the Ravens have kept him in the middle.

"We really haven't moved him this year. [It] makes a whole lot of difference up front there," Pees said. "When you take a guy, move him out to five [technique] one week and then move him back in there inside the next week, it's hard. It's hard to do that. So, I really think part of [Ngata's success] is because we've had the ability to leave guys in the same position and not move them all over."

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