The Baltimore Ravens backfield is absolutely loaded, but it nonetheless has to find a way to get Gus Edwards more carries.
When you have a backfield that consists of Pro Bowler Mark Ingram, rookie stud J.K. Dobbins, second-year man Justice Hill, and a great change-of-pace back in Gus Edwards on top of the ever mobile Lamar Jackson, it’s going to be easy to get lost in the shuffle. It doesn’t help that in today’s NFL teams are passing more than ever, meaning if you can’t catch the ball out of the backfield you’re likely going to see less time (unless your name is either “Derrick Henry” or “Nick Chubb“).
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Baltimore has the luxury of having not one, not two, but three receiving running backs on the roster between Ingram, Dobbins, and Hill, albeit Hill has yet to play in 2020. That leaves Edwards out as the lone running back who isn’t a great receiving back.
Regardless of this, Gus Edwards does deserve the ball more than he’s getting it.
Believe it or not, Edwards has looked like the best pure runner the Ravens have right now. Edwards hits the hole hard and explodes through contact. It’s no accident that he’s averaging 7.2 YPC through three games. Edwards actually leads the running back group in rushing yards with 129-yards.
Now while it’s not as though the other backs haven’t been effective in 2020 (Ingram has a solid 4.4 YPC while Dobbins leads the team with 7.6 YPC), they simply haven’t been as terrific as Edwards has been. Right now, Edwards has looked to be the best pure runner the Ravens have right now.
This is where I tell you that Gus Edwards not only needs more carries, but he deserves them. Edwards has been the hardest runner on the team and his bruising style of play tires out defenses. It also helps to open up the passing game by forcing more defenders into the front-seven. This is ideal so that Lamar Jackson can take more shots to Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews is. Right now, Edwards is Baltimore’s best chance to establish a more balanced offense, and that’s how the team will win games.
While Gus Edwards is far from the most “talented” or “well-rounded” running back for the Baltimore Ravens, but he looks to be its most effective. Moving forward, with hopefully a more balanced attack, the Ravens should consider giving Edwards the ball more often. At a minimum, he could be the best “closer” in football and break the opposing defense’s back late in games.