Ravens vs. Raiders: 3 key matchups to watch in Week 1

Ravens, Ty'Son Williams Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Ty'Son Williams Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ravens, Ty’Son Williams Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Ty’Son Williams/Ravens running backs vs. Raiders run defense

The Ravens’ backfield is set to look very different than what it was expected to look like. J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill are all gone.

In will step Ty’Son Williams who will be appearing in his first NFL game alongside recent additions Latavius Murray, Trenton Cannon, and perhaps either Devonta Freeman or Le’Veon Bell.

And by recent, we’re talking about within the past week.

This will be the true test of how important the Ravens’ offensive scheme is to their rushing success. Fortunately, they’ll be going up against a run defense that was shoddy at best last season.

The Raiders allowed the seventh-most yards per carry in 2020 (4.6) and the second-most rushing touchdowns (24). Williams and the Ravens could be a challenge for Las Vegas in Week 1.

There’s no underselling the losses of Dobbins and Edwards, in particular. For as much praise that Baltimore’s scheme under Greg Roman deserves, there’s no doubt that the loss of the team’s two top runners could prove detrimental.

But if they can come out in Week 1 and prove that their rushing attack hasn’t lost a beat, that should be a solid indicator of what’s to come this season.

They should have no trouble winning this Monday if their ground game is established early.