The Baltimore Ravens boast the best run defense in the NFL, allowing just 51 yards per game. Baltimore has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 38 straight games. The last runner to top the century mark against the Ravens was Larry Johnson, who ran for 120 yards on Dec. 10, 2006.
Patriots running back Laurence Maroney said he’s looking forward to the challenge of facing the best run defense in the NFL tomorrow.
“Most definitely you got to give him their credit due. They’re definitely the best run defense in the league right now,” said Maroney. “This definitely is a challenge to try to run the ball on those guys. It ain’t going to be something that’s going to be easy. It’s going to be a hard challenge, a hard task and you know it’s going to be difficult because you know they’re going to come out 100 miles an hour playing physical.
“It’s really one of these games to where east and west running is not going to work against these guys. You’re going to have to sit here and really take a pounding. I’m going to have to get my Advil and Tylenol ready, it’s going to be one of those type of physical games, one of those games that as a running back you like to play because you know all 11 people on the other side they’re just that good and to be able to crease a couple of plays here and there on a defense like that, just makes you feel good as a running back.
“You know it’s one of them things you’re just going to have to grind it out. It’s going to be their defense versus our offense. We’re going to try to run and they’re going to try to stop us, but like I said you got to give a lot of credit to their defense because they do have one of the best defenses in the league right now. It ain’t going to be no easy task for us we know that. We know that it’s going to be one of those games where all 60 minutes you’re going to have to play hard.”
Maroney said he has learned a lot from watching 33-year-old Fred Taylor operate.
“Just like a lot of one-cuts and gos. A lot of times when you think there ain’t nothing there just to keep your feet moving,” said Maroney. “I learned a lot. How to really improve as an NFL running back.”
Maroney was slowed by a thigh injury last week against Atlanta, but didn’t miss any practice time this week and is probable for Sunday’s game.
“It’s football, stuff happens,” said Maroney, who has 20 carries for 72 yards this season. “But as a professional I try and take care and get rid of the little nagging injuries, stay on top of them so they won’t become a big problem and just get back out there and keep chugging away. One of these days I’m going to have my big game. It’s one of those I’m just being patient and I’m just going to keep doing what I do and that’s keep doing what I do.”