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Arians, Palmer on Ravens defense: 'It's just a play or two here or there that have cost them'

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Baltimore focuses on stopping the run and stopping teams in the red zone.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens historically have been known for their great defenses. So far in 2015, that reputation has not held up. They are 27th in the league in points allowed and 25th in yards allowed. Their secondary has been suspect, giving up a number of big plays this season.

They have done one thing well so far, and that is stop the run. They are ninth in the league in rushing yards allowed, giving up only 94.5 per game.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians talked about the Ravens defense to the local media here and both he and Carson Palmer spoke about it in their conference calls with the Baltimore media.

"The history of Baltimore, they thrive on confusion and they have great players," he told reporters after practice on Wednesday. "So if you're confused at all who you're blocking, that good one is going to kick your ass. You have to eliminate that confusion because they've thrived on it for years, and then you've got to block (Elvis) Dumervil and if you're not sure, he'll kill you."

Arians calls the Ravens "an outstanding defensive football team. He cited the number of sacks the Ravens have had, but pointed out "it's just a play or two here or there that have cost him."

Quarterback Carson Palmer pointed to two keys the Ravens try to do -- stop the run and stop teams in the red zone. Those were two areas where the Cardinals struggled in their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. After leading the NFL in yards per carry at five yards a pop, they were held by Pittsburgh to under three. They were in the red zone four times and scored only one touchdown.

The key for the Cardinals is to not get beat up front. With players like standout defensive tackle Brandon Williams, Elvis Dumervil off the edge and linebackers Daryl Smith and C.J. Mosely, they have talent. If they can limit the Cardinals and their rushing attack, getting to Carson Palmer could happen. The Ravens have 18 sacks on the season, fifth in the league.

So the offensive line will have to be up for the task. They must keep Palmer upright long enough for him to make throws down the field.

They might be facing a 1-5 team, but it is not a team devoid of talent. The Baltimore defense could give them some trouble.