E-mail this image
Ravens rush defense vs. 49ers running game
It wasn't a good year for the Ravens' normally stout run defense, which allowed 122.8 yards per game in the regular season and has permitted 138.3 per playoff contest. The closest thing that the Ravens have seen to the 49ers' read-option is how the Washington Redskins played with Robert Griffin III. The Redskins rushed for 172 yards against the Ravens two months ago but three of the Ravens' starting linebackers -- Terrell Suggs, Dannell Ellerbe and Ray Lewis -- did not play in that game. Lewis, who will play in his final game, has said the key to stopping the 49ers' attack is communication.
During the regular season, the 49ers were fourth in the league in rushing yards per game (155.7) and third in yards per carry (5.1). That has carried over to the playoffs, where San Francisco has racked up 472 yards on the ground in two games. Their "pistol" offense features a lethal combination of Kaepernick's speed, running back Frank Gore's power and vision and offensive coordinator Greg Roman's creativity. The offensive line, which had all five starters get Pro Bowl recognition, is physical and athletic.