The Baltimore Ravens week 10 game has a chance to be a confidence builder, especially for the run game:
The Baltimore Ravens have a battle tonight with the New England Patriots and as kickoff nears the run game is our focus. The Ravens will have to contend with what is supposed to be horrible weather conditions. Rain is in the forecast. Wind should be swirling. It’s not going to be the kind of weather that makes for a good day passing the football. This could work to the advantage of the purple and black.
What do the Ravens do best on offense? They run the ball. The Ravens have a healthy average per carry, something Ravens fans have been jaded to by the 2019 success rate. Lamar Jackson, who isn’t running as much, averages 5.9 yards per attempt. How about the running backs? J.K. Dobbins is picking up over five yards per attempt and Gus Edwards is picking up a healthy 4.4 yards a pop. If Mark Ingram gets going again, this strength will only be boosted.
Dobbins is the player to watch. With a national audience, this may be his coming-out party to the general NFL audience. Dobbins having a monster game could solidify his spot as the number one running back. It could give him the chance to become the centerpiece of the offense, other than Jackson that is.
What do the New England Patriots do poorly? The Patriots struggle to stop the run. They have a bottom 10 rushing defense in the NFL. The Patriots give up just over 130 yards on the ground per game. This is a game where the factors are incentivizing the Ravens to run the ball in a matchup that calls for that anyway.
The reason this is so important for the Ravens is that they are looking for a spark on offense. The run game was what stirred the pot last year. Now you may be thinking, wait a minute Chris, wasn’t Lamar Jackson the MVP last year?
Well, exactly. Jackson’s impact in the run game was incredible and it made the Ravens hard to prepare for. This year the opposing defenses are ready for that and they are tempting the Ravens to beat them in the passing game. Right now that’s not happening at a high enough rate.
In this game, the weather could force Greg Roman’s hands and the Ravens will have to enforce their will on the Patriots. Dez Bryant was not called up from the practice squad in this game, the Ravens chose to give their defense help on that front. While I’m obviously not a huge fan of not letting Bryant get involved in this offense, it’s not a game the passing game should be the main ingredient.
The bottom line:
What if Lamar Jackson has one of those amazing 100-yard rushing games like he did last year? What if the run game gets a little extra push and this somewhat new-look offensive line figures out the key for the rest of the season? What if the run game gets back to the 2019 level? Forcing the Ravens to get back to what they do best could be what sets their best football in play.
The Ravens have to take the Patriots seriously however this is looked at as a confidence booster for them. The run game going off is a must, and if it does the Ravens could find that spark they’ve desperately needed.