Ravens: Ty’Son Williams needs to have a prominent role in Week 5

Ravens, Ty'Son Williams (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Ravens, Ty'Son Williams (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens are fresh off their most convincing victory of the 2021 season with a 23-7 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 4. The Ravens did a lot of great things in that game.

But one surprising decision that deserves criticism is the choice to make running back Ty’Son Williams a healthy scratch.

Williams has seemingly fallen out of favor with the Ravens coaching staff with the team opting for veterans Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell, and Devonta Freeman over the young running back.

But following a dreadful showing from the running game this past Sunday, it’s now more clear than ever. Ty’Son Williams needs to be active in Week 5. Not only that — he needs to play a prominent role on offense.

There’s no excuse for the Ravens not to use Ty’Son Williams

Williams has easily been the Ravens’ most effective and efficient running back to date. He’s averaging over 6.0 yards per carry and is the only running back on the Ravens roster with a catch this season.

Murray is averaging 3.4 yards per carry. Bell averaged just 2.8 yards per touch on Sunday. And if not for an outlier 31-yard run from Freeman, the former Pro Bowler would have five carries for 10 yards.

The Ravens’ coaching staff has insisted that they’re still trying to figure out their running back rotation and also implied that Williams’ benching was only a one-week situation.

Most have read between the lines to assume why Williams has fallen down the depth chart despite his impressive play. The common tropes many have pointed to have been pass blocking and fumbles.

But neither is really backed by any sort of evidence.

In fact, when it comes to pass protection, that narrative couldn’t be any further from the truth. Williams has easily been the Ravens’ best pass blocker in the backfield.

The former BYU standout has a Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade of 85.4 which ranks sixth out of all running backs in the NFL. Murray, on the other hand, has an abysmal 43.1 grade that ranks among the worst in the league.

Williams has not been credited with a single pressure allowed this season. Many have pointed to the Lamar Jackson strip-sack in overtime of Week 1 in an attempt to discredit Williams as a pass blocker.

And to those people, I implore you to watch the play again.


Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib is the player who shoves aside Williams to sack Jackson. Nassib stands at 6-foot-7, 275 pounds. It’s not Williams’ assignment to pick up Nassib as a free rusher.

Right tackle Alejandro Villanueva realizes this mid-play, but it’s far too late. Villanueva is credited with allowing the sack here, not Williams.

Ty’Son Williams has been nearly perfect in pass protection. And for all the talk of his issues with holding on to the football, he’s fumbled just once this season, and even that fumble was recovered by Devin Duvernay for a touchdown.

Whatever reason the Ravens have to not use their best running back is a bad one. Not only should he be active on gamedays, but he should be the default RB1 receiving 60 percent of touches until he proves he shouldn’t be.

If Williams fumbles again or begins to show issues in pass protection, then this conversation could be revisited. But for now, there’s no good reason for him to be sitting on the bench while three running backs with an average age of 30-years-old dominate backfield touches.

Next. Ravens: Lamar Jackson has made significant strides as a passer. dark

For all the good the Ravens coaching staff has done and continues to do, their reluctance to use Ty’Son Williams remains an issue.