Going into last Thursday's game against the Falcons, the Ravens had allowed an average of 111 rushing yards in their previous three contests.
They had seen their once-feared run defense drop to 13th-best in the NFL, and were giving up over 100 rushing yards per game on the season, which would have been nearly unheard of in previous years.
To top it off, they were facing one of the NFL's hottest running backs in Atlanta's Michael Turner, a guy who had picked up over 100 yards on the ground in four of his last six games.
The Baltimore defense buckled down, however, and all but took the bruising Turner out of the Falcons' gameplan.
They held him to just 39 yards on 17 carries (a miniscule 2.3 yards per touch), and held him to a long of eight yards on the day.
"That was something we felt we had to do," head coach John Harbaugh said yesterday. "We had to stop the run. You know, if you control the run against those guys, normally you win. And we weren't able to do that at the end of the game, but the run defense was good. That was a big plus for us."
It was only one week, but the Ravens' front-seven will look to continue their effective run defense against the Panthers this Sunday, a team that has the league's ninth-worst rushing attack.
Carolina has averaged just 93.8 yards on the ground this season, and was without both of their top two running backs (De'Angelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart) last weekend against the Buccaneers.
If neither of those two are able to return from their respective injuries, the Panthers will turn to second-year back Mike Goodson, who stepped in and rushed for 100 yards on 23 carries on Sunday at Tampa Bay.
Especially considering how their secondary has played lately, the Ravens will need to continue to stuff the run if they're going to have a shot at a run deep into January.