Gus Edwards could end up being the Ravens’ form of punishment for falling behind:
The Baltimore Ravens are a team that are built to play from ahead, and Gus Edwards could be a big part of that. No matter what the situation and no matter what quarter it is, the purple and black always make opponents mindful of the run game. In the fourth quarter, when the Ravens are trying to shorten the game and run the clock out, this is where Gus Edwards really has the chance to shine.
Gus Edwards is the most physical of the Ravens running backs. He’s the one man nobody wants to stop. It’s not quite like Derrick Henry level, and but Edwards applies more damage to linebackers than they do to him. Mark Ingram is the starter. Dobbins and Hill are different backs who are both dynamic at what they do. Edwards is a blunt instrument and used correctly he can make the opponent tap out in the fourth quarter.
That’s what happened to the Ravens in the playoffs. Henry broke the Baltimore defense. He chipped away at the defense to the point where it couldn’t function. The game was going poorly, the pressure was mounting and the front seven of the purple and black wilted. The Ravens had done it to teams all year, the Titans were the team that did it to them.
The Ravens played from ahead a lot in 2019 and there’s no reason to think they won’t have the chance to do it in 2020. There were four fourth quarters that Lamar Jackson didn’t even play in, because the win was already secured. Leaning on Edwards will preserve Ingram. It’s also the perfect time for Edwards to be in the game. Edwards is a master at what he does well. He’s not the most versatile player in the world, but when it comes to downhill running and physically grinding out yards, he’s fantastic.
If the Ravens are going to make it work with four running backs, they have to know what they want out of all four running backs. Edwards is the bulldozing style of a running back. The later it gets in the game, the more impact he has. When the defense is exhausted from chasing Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins and even Lamar Jackson, Edwards can keep hitting them in the mouth.
Edwards has nine receptions in two seasons. When he’s on the field it doesn’t mean that it’ a running play, but it’s a high chance that he won’t factor into the game much as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Edwards has decent speed and some elusiveness but he’s very well defined as a downhill runner. He can be the closer, the master of the four minute offense, the finisher in the backfield.
The Bottom Line:
The Ravens have four running backs and Greg Roman has to make the most out of them. Edwards is a downhill no-nonsense running back. He doesn’t waste time and he’s got a 5.3 yards per carry average to this pont in his career With Edwards you know you’re getting positive yards.
We’ve talked and speculated a lot about the running back position ever since the Ravens added J.K. Dobbins in the 2020 NFL Draft. I can’t think of another team in the NFL that has more star power at the running back position. Finishing teams when they are down, could be the job Edwards is asked to do.