Foster, Flacco both look to use run game


A statistical look at tonight's matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans (ESPN, 8:30 ET).

Arian Foster This Season Rushing by Direction

Arian Foster has been very effective this season, no matter which direction he runs. When rushing right or left, he’s averaging more than 5 yards per attempt and has scored eight of his league-high 13 touchdowns.

His best bet is to stay outside Monday as DT Haloti Ngata and the Ravens have allowed only 3.6 yards per carry up the middle this season, the ninth-best mark in the NFL entering Week 14.

Another area where Foster has excelled: a league-high 11 of his 13 rushing touchdowns this season have come with eight or more defenders in the box.

When the Ravens have the ball, look for them to get their running backs involved early so that Joe Flacco can get going. Entering Week 14, Baltimore was seventh in the NFL in first-down rush attempts with 199. And even though they are in the middle of the pack in first-down rush yards, pounding the rock early sets up the Ravens' play-action passing game.

When Flacco has used play-action, he’s thrown 10 touchdowns and just one interception. Without a play-fake, Flacco has thrown nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. Houston’s defense entered this week having allowed opponents to complete 69.9 percent of their play-action passes this season, the fourth-highest mark in the NFL.