Ravens need another big game from Kenyan Drake in Week 9

Ravens, Kenyan Drake (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ravens, Kenyan Drake (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

No Gus Edwards, no problem — Baltimore Ravens running back Kenyan Drake should be able to salvage the running game and much more in Week 9.

Drake has flown a bit under the radar since getting picked up by the Ravens at the beginning of the 2022 season and was at the time considered mere running back depth.

Now, with Edwards doubtful to play and J.K. Dobbins on injured reserve, Drake has a golden opportunity to take over RB1 duties and prove his worth as an every-down back.

Special teams stud Justice Hill is still in the mix for offensive snaps, but it seems more likely that the Ravens will lean on Drake given Drake’s previous record.

In Week 6 against the New York Giants, Dobbins suffered a setback allowing Drake to take the reins of the rushing attack. Drake finished with 10 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns and could produce a very similar statline on Monday against the Saints.

Kenyan Drake can light the spark for the Ravens’ run game in Week 9

Heading into this matchup, the Ravens’ offensive skill position options look rather tame: Isaiah Likely will replace Mark Andrews at tight end, and a combination of Devin Duvernay, James Proche, and DeSean Jackson will spearhead the wide receiver corps.

As for the running back room, Drake may share ball-carrying duties with Hill but nonetheless projects to get more goal-line work as both an efficient runner and capable pass-catcher.

He’s posted two receiving touchdowns in the last three games and appears to be developing into one of Lamar Jackson’s trusted targets in the end zone.

With the Ravens’ passing game bereft of dependable targets, Drake will shoulder much of the responsibility for getting the running game going.

Lamar Jackson is the team’s undeniable engine on the ground, yet he alone won’t be able to break through a stout Saints’ run defense (New Orleans is ranked eighth in total rushing yards allowed).

Next. Ravens should lean on Isaiah Likely with Mark Andrews out in Week 9. dark

Drake has been in this situation once before, running his way to a 100-plus yard rushing game and making splash plays in the red zone. Can he achieve the same results on Monday night?