In a season in which the Ravens have gotten minimal contributions from their rookie class, one first-year player stepped up on Thursday with his best game as a pro.
Defensive tackle Terrence Cody, selected by the Ravens with the second of their two second-round picks in this year’s draft, saw his most extended playing time of the season against the Falcons on Thursday night, and he responded in a big way.
Cody posted five total tackles against Atlanta, nearly doubling the three tackles he had made on the season going into the game.
The former Alabama star was a huge part of a Baltimore defensive front which held Falcons running back Michael Turner to just 39 rushing yards on 17 attempts, a paltry 2.3 yards per carry.
“It looked like Terrence played pretty well,” head coach John Harbaugh told reporters after the game. “I’d have to see the tape. But I thought we did a pretty good job of handling the run.”
Turner came into Thursday night’s game on fire, posting three 100-yard games in four contests, but the Ravens clogged holes up front, and did a good job gang-tackling the sturdy 5-10, 244 pound running back.
Because the Ravens decided to deactivate Brandon McKinney, Lamar Divens and Arthur Jones for the game, Cody joined Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata as Baltimore’s only three interior defensive linemen in uniform.
That in itself shows how much progress Cody has made in his rookie year, especially when you consider that he missed the first three games of the season as he worked back from a knee injury.
After not recording a tackle in his first three NFL games, Cody has seen his playing time, and his statistics, increase since then.
The 6-4, 349 pound defensive tackle made his first career tackle before the bye week against Buffalo, posted two tackles last week against the Dolphins, and then chipped in with the five tackles on Thursday night.
On a defense which has had trouble stopping the run throughout parts of the season and ranked 13th in the league in rushing defense entering the Atlanta game, Cody could be a big part (no pun intended) of turning things around in that area in the last half of the season.