Baltimore Ravens must continue running the ball for post-season success

J.K. Dobbins #27 of the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
J.K. Dobbins #27 of the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

Right now the Baltimore Ravens are as hot as any other team in the NFL and to stay hot they’ll need to continue running the football as well as they are.

The Baltimore Ravens are gonna need some help from other teams to get into the playoffs, but they have to help themselves before they concern themselves with others. Thankfully, they have developed a winning formula: run the football.

I know this is a shocking development considering Baltimore’s track record (sarcasm detected). After all, the Ravens set the single-season team rushing yards record a season ago and had three rushers top 700-yards including two 1,000-yard rushers. Even before that Baltimore has been spoiled by guys like Jamal Lewis and Ray Rice running the ball. Clearly, running the football has always been the Ravens’ bread and butter.

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But things are different this season. The offense isn’t clicking as much as it did a season ago, nor is it dominating games as convincingly. At least that was the case prior to the last month.

Things changed dramatically when Lamar Jackson returned from the COVID list. Baltimore was averaging a solid 25.6 PPG through the team’s 11 games which includes a week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers without Jackson. Once Jackson came back this offense exploded. Over the last three weeks, the Ravens are averaging 40.3 PPG with Jackson scoring 10 touchdowns in that time span. Jackson has taken these last few weeks by storm and it’s got us thinking about a post-season run.

While Jackson is a huge reason for the offensive explosion, he has the run game to give thanks to. Baltimore is averaging a ridiculous 227.7 rushing YPG in that time frame and it’s launched them right back into the league lead now at 172.7 YPG. Jackson has been excellent as a runner, but Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins deserve a lot of credit, as well.

The three have combined for 1,974 of the team’s 2,418 total rushing yards and 19 touchdowns in the ground. With these three running in unique ways between Jackson’s finesse and speed, Edwards’s ground-and-pound, and Dobbins’s one-cut style, there’s no clear cut way to stop this run game. This is exactly what the team will be betting on.

There are only two games left of the 2020 season and Baltimore will need to win-out to make the playoffs. With the way this ground game is moving though, it feels like a good bet that they can make it work.

Next. The way Baltimore Ravens finish the season matters one way or another. dark

The Baltimore Ravens offense has long been predicated on how well it runs the football, but this run (pun intended) the unit is having unreal success and it’s winning games. If Baltimore wants to make this magical run (pun once again intended), it will need to continue running the football as well as they are.