Baltimore Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron
December 30, 2007
Ray Rice and Ricky Williams ran all over the Steelers in the Ravens' 35-7 season-opening win, rushing 31 times for 170 yards and a touchdown. But teams haven't had success running on the Steelers lately. Pittsburgh's run defense, anchored by nose tackle Casey Hampton (above right), has allowed 99.1 rushing yards per game, the eighth-lowest mark in the NFL. In the past two weeks, they've held the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots to 73 and 43 rushing yards, respectively. The defense has also allowed only three 100-yard rushers in its past 58 games dating to 2007. Rice has produced two of those performances, including his 107 yards in Week 1. That effort was considered a breakthrough for Rice, who rushed for 20, 32 and 32 yards in three games against Pittsburgh last season. Those were his three lowest rushing totals all year. Overall, the Ravens are averaging 107 yards on the ground, 19th in the NFL. They did average 4.1 yards per carry and score three rushing touchdowns last Sunday against the Cardinals.