One of the biggest surprises of 2012 was the way the defense had so many problems -- especially against the run.

The Ravens clearly weren't as effective on defense last year as in seasons past. In the regular season, they finished just 17th in the NFL in yards and yards per game. But they were just 20th overall in rushing as teams found the kind of success that opponents hadn't found against the Ravens in recent years.

And improving that -- the run defense -- is high on the Ravens' check-list for things to get better at in 2013. Haloti Ngata talked about that when speaking with reporters last week.

"We were way out of our element being that low [ranked] of a run-stopping defense," he said. "Hopefully, we can get back to what we like to do, which is stopping the run defense first and then getting to the passer. We would definitely like to make that a lot better this year.”

The problems stopping the run really made life tough for the defense at times. More often that not, the Ravens were so good against the run that teams often would try to pass on third-and-short situations instead of running-- something that would help the Ravens at times.