Will Gus Edwards supplant Alex Collins going forward as the starting running back for the Baltimore Ravens?
When the Ravens needed the run game the most, they got it in their win against the Bengals yesterday.
The Ravens have been anemic in the run game this season, whether it was Alex Collins or Buck Allen with Joe Flacco under center. Their problems in the run game stem from their injured offensive lineman, playcalling, and scheme with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, and just the overall lack of commitment to the run game at times was surprising.
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But in this game, the run game (with Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards) finally woke up and gashed the Bengals run defense as the presence of Jackson helped give Edwards running holes up the middle. Baltimore had a gameplan to lean on the run game as it tired out the Bengals defense in having to defend the running back and Jackson.
Ty Montgomery, who the Ravens traded for before the trade deadline a few weeks ago, should get involved in the offense as he will be in the Ravens running back rotation as well as Buck Allen. Both Montgomery and Allen should be used on 3rd downs as receiving backs with Collins spelling Edwards a few carries. Kenneth Dixon was activated from injured reserve last week so he could eventually get carries in a crowded backfield.
The undrafted rookie out of Rutgers got the hot hand early in the game after Alex Collins scored on the first drive. Edwards had 17 carries for 115 yards, a touchdown, and averaged 6.8 yards per carry in a breakout effort reviving the run game for Baltimore. Collins had only 7 carries for 18 yards as he is slowly phasing out of the offense. Buck Allen did not record a catch as he is also not being utilized as much as he was earlier in the season.
I think the Ravens should give Edwards a shot to start next week against the Oakland Raiders as he had one of the better running back performances this week. Edwards, compared to Collins, is more of a downhill one-cut runner while Collins tries to do too much at times behind the backfield instead of hitting the hole straight away. Baltimore may have found another undrafted gem in Edwards and could make Collins expendable next year.