The Ravens face a tough task in the divisional round versus the Bills, yet these five Baltimore players will be key in ensuring a victory.
For all the regular-season talk about the Baltimore Ravens tumbling after such an impressive 2019 campaign, their five-game win streak to close out the year and grudge-match Wild Card win over the Tennessee Titans helped turn the page and put head coach John Harbaugh’s squad right back into legitimate AFC Championship game contention.
Beating the Titans 20-13 last Sunday was one thing, though. Going up against a surging Buffalo Bills team in the divisional round will be another.
That’s the task at hand for Harbaugh and Co. this Saturday when both teams square off for what will likely be the rights to face off against the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC title, assuming Kansas City wins its game against the Cleveland Browns this weekend.
Buffalo is banged up, yes, and it narrowly pulled off a nail-biting win over the Indianapolis Colts. Still, the Bills offense is nothing to scoff at, meaning ball control and time of possession will be crucial for Baltimore to pull off the upset.
If that’s to happen, look for these five players to bring their A-game on Saturday.
No. 5: Ravens Running Back J.K. Dobbins
Baltimore’s three-headed rushing trio of tailbacks Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins all have a vital role to play in the divisional round, as the old adage of running the ball helps maintain possession, keeping the opponent’s offense off the field.
This couldn’t be truer against the Bills’ topflight offense, although Dobbins is the key player to watch here.
Dobbins, the rookie, is moving his way towards the very top of the depth chart and accounted for 805 regular-season rush yards with an average of 6.0 yards per carry — both team bests at the position.
While it’s a good sign Dobbins accounted for himself well against Tennessee, picking up 43 rush yards on nine attempts for 4.8 yards per rush, the intensity and pressure of each playoff match from this point onward is going to help define the early stages of his still-budding career.
Good thing Buffalo allowed 4.6 yards per carry during the regular season, good for 26th best in the league.