Terrence Cody has breakthrough game

OWINGS MILLS -- This was a different look from Baltimore Ravens rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody: more confident, more active and much more productive. It was undoubtedly the top performance for Cody since his arrival in the NFL as a second-round draft pick in April.

Cody recorded a career-high five tackles during Thursday night's 26-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome, helping the defense to stonewall star running back Michael "The Burner" Turner.

"Our game plan going in was to dominate upfront, and that's what we did," Cody said. "It's one of my best games. I didn't play a lot of snaps, but I played pretty good. I can do better and I will do better. I feel like I played a pretty good game."

For Cody, it marked his most prolific game yet as a run-stopper.

Substituting for veteran nose guard Kelly Gregg, the former University of Alabama consensus All-American nearly doubled his previous total of tackles for the season after entering the game with three stops.

Cody played roughly 20 snaps and played a major role in limiting Turner to just 39 rushing yards on 17 carries.

Cody matched All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis' total amount of tackles.

"It looked like Terrence played pretty well," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I'd have to see the tape, but I thought we did a pretty good job of handling the run."

Turner averaged only 2.3 yards per rush.

The 5-foot-10, 247-pound power back had rushed for 100 yards in three of his previous four games and has gained 733 yards and scored five touchdowns this season.

"Everybody did a good job," Cody said. "I was doing my job. Turner is a big, strong back, so we knew we had to stop him. They've got a good running game, and they believe in it and stick with it."

This marked the biggest contribution yet for the 6-foot-4, 349-pounder.

And his teammates took notice.

"They wanted to run the ball, but the defense did a good job on Turner," Ravens Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice said. "Cody did a great job. They're tough in the middle. I'm sure Michael Turner would tell you that himself."

The Ravens' rookie class hasn't done much yet this season, but this could be a sign of bigger things to come for Cody.

After battling a torn lateral meniscus and undergoing surgery before the start of the regular season and struggling with his conditioning to open training camp, Cody is beginning to hit stride.

Now, the knee is healthy once again.

"I've got confidence in my knee," Cody said. "It just took some time for it to get right. I feel good out there."

Cody didn't have any tackles in his first three NFL games, but posted his first tackle against the Buffalo Bills and registered two tackles against the Miami Dolphins. The Atlanta game, which was attended by several members of Cody's family and friends, marks the most impressive performance so far of his brief NFL career.

The Ravens' run defense has been uncharacteristically vulnerable this season and could use a boost, and Cody could provide the stout presence the team needs in the interior.

"I'm feeling more comfortable out there," Cody said. "Your confidence goes up when you get to play more and you get into the flow. I'm doing my job and playing hard and just having fun out there."

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