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Quinton Dial, 49ers defense face surging Justin Forsett, Ravens ground game

The Baltimore Ravens are settling in as a strong running team. The 49ers have struggled across the board on defense and will need to figure out a way to stop Justin Forsett & company. In the meantime, defensive lineman Quinton Dial chatter with the media. We have a transcript, and you can listen to audio here.

The San Francisco 49ers defense was pummeled by Eli Manning and the New York Giants passing attack in Week 5. Rather than a few knockout blows, Manning essentially landed four quarters worth of body blows, and the 49ers defense could not counter.

This week, they face a Baltimore Ravens team that is 1-4, but at least might be figuring out its offensive identity. The Ravens opened the season focusing more on the passing game, with Joe Flacco attempting 94 passes combined in Weeks 2 and 3. In Weeks 4 and 5, the team focused more on the ground game. They beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime, and then lost to the Cleveland Browns in overtime. Losses don't help, but they showed the ground game might be a bigger deal.

In the first three games, Justin Forsett had 39 carries for 124 yards. In the last two games, he rushed 48 times for 271 yards. The Ravens offensive line currently ranks No. 14 in adjusted line yards, and No. 9 in open field yards. They are getting solid work from their offensive line in the ground game, and even better work from their running backs.

The 49ers defense is struggling in a lot of ways. They had a strong game against the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, but they were shredded by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. The Giants only rushed for 84 yards on 21 carries, but Eli's short passing game was basically the ground game for them.

The Ravens wide receiver corps is incredibly banged up, with the team hoping to get Steve Smith back this week. If Smith is available, I'm sure we'll see plenty of work his way. But whether he plays or not, it will be interesting to see if the Ravens continue with what has developed into a very strong ground game.

Speaking of the 49ers run defense, Quinton Dial spoke with the media on Monday. He mostly spoke in cliches, but I figured I would post the transcription.

On how defense is playing this year:

I think we, over the past couple weeks have progressively gotten better as a unit. There's still a couple things that we just have to tweak and get better at. I think overall, we just have to continue to get better and build on this past performance.

On what he sees is improved:

Obviously we pride ourselves on stopping the run. That's one thing as a unit that we take a lot of pride in is stopping the run. They hit a couple passes on it, but we just have to come in and work each and every day, and try to get better at it and polish it up.

On losing on the final drive:

That's real tough. Obviously we thought we had the game when T-Brock caught the ball, but  that was a real heart-breaker there. But we can't hang our heads, it's a long season. We gotta come back in ready to work, ready to get ready for the Ravens.

On coming back after tough loss:

It tests your manhood as man, and as a team as well. That's what we signed up for, so we can't hang our hats, we just have to come in and work each and every day, and get better.

On lack of strong pass rush against Giants:

I mean it goes hand-in-hand. You get a little pressure on him, he don't complete those passes. If they hold up on the back end and we get a little pressure, I mean it all goes hand-in-hand. We gotta get better collectively as a group. I mean I can't throw anybody under the bus. We're a team, this is a team effort. We just gotta come in and work at the things that we can get better at.

On whether he feels like it's a 1-4 team or better:

To be honest with you, I don't feel like we're 1-4. I feel like we have a lot of talent in that room, in that locker room, but we just gotta learn to finish games. That's what we have to do. It's crazy, the talent that we have in the locker room is just crazy. Just gotta learn how to finish games.

On defense seeing offense show signs of life:

I mean it was good. It was good to see them come out and move the ball and score some points. It helped us out a little bit, but we just gotta keep them off the scoreboard on our end.