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Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount aims to set personal and franchise records against stingy Ravens defense

Can the Patriots running back find success against the top defense in the NFL?

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount is in the midst of the best season of his career. He’s picked up 957 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns, along with 31 receiving yards. His 988 yards from scrimmage trails only the 1,021 yards he generated in his rookie season. He would have more touchdowns if the Patriots handed Blount the ball on the goal line during the final drives against the Seahawks, 49ers, and Jets, instead of passing the ball or kneeling to kill the clock.

Blount’s 13 rushing touchdowns leads the NFL, his 230 rushing attempts rank 3rd, and his 957 rushing yards rank 5th.

With 50 rushing yards against the Ravens, Blount will tie his rookie production. With 34 yards he will set a new career high in yards from scrimmage. One more touchdown will extend his career high to 14, double his next best season (7 in 2013, 2015).

That’s easier said than done. The Ravens have given up just four rushing touchdowns all year and one was to Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. Only five rushers have generated 40+ yards- Browns RB Isaiah Crowell (133 yards, 1 TD), Jets RB Matt Forte (100, 1), Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (97), Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi (61), and Bills RB LeSean McCoy (58, 1). Even Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell could only gain 32 rushing yards.

Football Outsiders ranks the Ravens defense 1st.

I should clarify. They’re not just 1st for 2016. They’re the best run defense dating back to 1989, when Football Outsiders’ dataset begins. Better than the 2000 Ravens. Better than the 2007 or 2008 Ravens. The Best.

So if Blount sets career highs on Monday Night Football, he will have earned every single yard. If he comes up short, well, there will be three more games for Blount to surpass his previous bests.