Ravens: 5 sleepers to watch against the Browns in week 5

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Oct 1, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (34) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin (57) during the second half at Heinz Field. The Ravens won the game, 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Lorenzo Taliaferro

Taliaferro has been a little bit of a disappointment to date as well after we anticipated a bigger role for the sophomore back in year two.  Everyone figured that Justin Forsett’s carries would be dialed back, and after Taliaferro won the backup job over rookie Buck Allen, we assumed he would see a decent amount of work.

Alas, injuries have so far derailed that hope.  And last week, even though Taliaferro was healthy, we saw Forsett tote the rock 27 times in a close overtime win.  Zo has only received a grand total of 13 carries through four games, turning them into a mere 47 yards (3.6 ypc).

Still, you have to think that he will see better days.  Taliaferro, an inside grinder, also has 5 receptions for 29 yards, showing some versatility.  Even though Forsett is the lead dog, I would imagine that Zo will see more work in games that aren’t terribly close either, as the Ravens clearly know they can’t ride the elder back into the ground too early.

Plus, the numbers don’t tell the whole story.  If you take out Taliaferro’s 3 carry, 0 yard effort against the Bengals, he is averaging a pretty stout 4.7 yards per carry.  If the Ravens jump out to an early lead against the Browns and/or decide to take advantage of an awful run defense, don’t be surprised if Taliaferro has his best game of the season.

Next: Darren Waller

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