The Baltimore Ravens seemed almost unstoppable on the ground last season, with Lamar Jackson at quarterback and the duo of Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram in the backfield helping the team rush for an NFL record 3,296 yards.
Baltimore hasn’t shown that same lethal quality on the ground this season, though, and that’s part of the reason the team sat at 6-5 entering Tuesday night’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. But with Jackson, Ingram, Edwards and J.K. Dobbins all available for Tuesday’s contest, that running game was back at its best during the 34-17 win.
“It was fun out there, man,” Edwards said. “I’m really proud of the offense. I’m proud of the O-line; they were able to get us going and get the backs started. It starts with them, and they did a great job today.”
The Ravens ran all over the Cowboys, finishing with a season-high 294 yards. Edwards accounted for 101 of those on just seven carries, gashing his way through Dallas’ defense. The combination of Edwards, Jackson and Dobbins averaged 8.6 yards per carry combined.
During Baltimore’s three-game losing streak entering Tuesday — which included last week’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game played without a slew of starters due to the coronavirus — the team managed an average of 124.33 yards per game.
Late in the first quarter, an option read from Jackson exhibited the dynamic nature of Baltimore’s running game. The quarterback faked to Dobbins, drawing the defense’s attention. Then Jackson burst through the middle of a gaping hole in the line for a 37-yard touchdown.
At 7-5, the Ravens still face a difficult path to the playoffs. The AFC North features the 11-1 Steelers and 9-3 Browns. But Baltimore will have a chance to make up ground in the division next week against Cleveland, and a running game that looks something like Tuesday’s will help.
“The offensive line deserves a ton of credit, running backs, running game, Lamar,” coach John Harbaugh said. “The running game was excellent — that was the key on offense.”