Rams, 49ers great tests for the Ravens offensive line
The Baltimore Ravens play the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football. They then take on the San Francisco 49ers. These games will test the Ravens offensive line:
The Baltimore Ravens’ offensive line has been very good this season. The Ravens have the number one scoring offense and the top rushing attack in the NFL. The Ravens may have an MVP candidate at quarterback, however it all starts up front. Lamar Jackson can make something out of nothing yet the offensive line allows him to attack the opposing defense any way he desires.
The Ravens’ offensive line is allowing big things to happen in the run game. The Ravens average over 200 rushing yards per game. Jackson picks up over six yards per carry. Mark Ingram is averaging 4.9 yards per run and Gus Edwards has picked up 5.5 yards per carry. Jackson has only been sacked 18 times this season.
Things are going well for the offensive line and now they get their biggest test of the season. The New England Patriots were solid and disciplined; it just happened to be the run game that was their weakness. The Texans may have offered more of a challenge if they had J.J. Watt. Since Baltimore began dominating everyone in their path, they haven’t played a defensive front like that of the Rams. The 49ers’ front is even better.
The Rams have a good defensive line and it all starts with Aaron Donald. Donald is the best player to come from the Pitt Panthers since Larry Fitzgerald. He’s a pass rusher, a run stuffing space eater and the most explosive 280 pound man in the league. Donald had 20.5 sacks last year and has eight so far in the 2019 season. Donald has been in the league since 2014 and he’s never had less than eight sacks in a season. This is a superstar talent and he plays right in the middle of the Rams defensive line.
The Rams get push on the outside as well. Dante Fowler has 6.5 sacks. Clay Matthews has seven sacks and two forced fumbles. The Rams have players who can win the battle inside and on the edges of the defense. This is the type of explosive talent that the Ravens haven’t seen too much of this season.
The 49ers have a great defensive front. Nick Bosa is a potential defensive player of the year. They have players that can win one on one battles with offensive linemen in routine fashion. Bosa has seven sacks. Arik Armstead has eight sacks. DeForest Buckner has five sacks. Dee Ford has 6.5 sacks. The 49ers have gotten to the quarterback 39 times this season.
The offensive line came into the season as a potential weakness for the Ravens. There is some value to the idea that Greg Roman’s scheme and Jackson’s dynamic talent has more to do with the Ravens success than the players up front. The one thing you don’t want to say at the end of this two game stretch, if you’re a Ravens fan, is that the offensive line has been exposed.
If the offense puts up their normal level of production (or anything close to it) that would be huge. The Rams and 49ers are going to give the Ravens’ offensive line a primer for the playoffs. If they can hang in there with these defensive fronts, the Ravens will be ready for a Super Bowl run.