Offensive line efficiency:
In 2017, the Ravens tied for seventh in least amount sacks given up at just 27 total. This was without stalwart Marshal Yanda in the line-up, as well as a constant shuffling of the interior offensive line. Stability and health on the offensive line will be the biggest benefactor on the team’s offense for 2018.
Like we just mentioned, Yanda will be returning to the line-up, and left tackle Ronnie Stanley is looking to make his first Pro Bowl in 2018. Yanda’s return alone will improve the offensive line’s play, but having guys like James Hurst and Orlando Brown, Jr. step up will be detrimental for team success.
And this isn’t just for pass blocking. We all know the Ravens are most successful when they can run the ball efficiently. The Ravens ranked just 16th in YPA in 2017 at a flat 4.0 average. For the Ravens to capture a playoff berth, the team will need a re-established run game behind a good offensive line. Speaking of which…
Team rushing yards per game:
It can’t all fall on Alex Collins, but it would be in the team’s best interest to feed him the ball early and often. Guys like Javorius “Buck” Allen and Kenneth Dixon will need to step up, but the majority of the workload will likely fall on Collins.
Last season, Baltimore averaged 116.0 rushing yards per game, good enough for 11th in the league. The last time Baltimore made the post-season, the team averaged 126.2 rushing YPG, which ranked 8th across the league. A return to dominant form via the ground attack is important for a playoff berth.
Like we mentioned, Alex Collins figures to be the bell-cow for the team in 2018. He showed off an impressive body of work in 2017, and the team hopes it can continue in year-two in Charm City. With the offensive line (hopefully) finding stability, big things could be in store for the former University of Arkansas running back.
Collins still averaged 4.6 YPC in 2017 and with the aforementioned Marshal Yanda returning to the scene, that number can only go up. If Allen and Dixon can pick up the slack behind Collins, the Ravens run game can power the team back into the post-season.