In week 11, the Ravens offense turned back the clock and relied heavily on their rushing attack to win a critical game against the Bengals.
In week 12, for the first half, the Ravens seemed really interested in proving rookie quarterback could throw the ball. They went into halftime with a lead, but the offense just didn't look quite as cohesive as the week before. Gus Edwards, the undrafted rookie out of Rutgers, was efficient, but the emphasis clearly wasn't as much on the run game as it was the week prior.
Clearly, the Ravens re-evaluated that strategy at halftime, because they came out and ran the ball down the Raiders' throats for the entire 3rd quarter. The biggest beneficiary? Gus Edwards.
Gus "The Bus" Edwards has taken on a larger role with Jackson as the starting quarterback, and his north-south running style appears to be a terrific fit with the running threat of Jackson.
The second-half emphasis on keeping the ball on the ground helped Edwards make a little history, doing something no one had done in Baltimore since Jamal Lewis.
For the second-straight week, rookie @GodsGiftGus13 has rushed for over 100 yards. He's the second rookie in #Ravens history to have back-to-back 100-yard rushing games (Jamal Lewis, 2000, Weeks 12-13).— Patrick Gleason (@PMGleason) November 25, 2018
It hadn't just been a long time for Ravens rookies, though. No Ravens running back of any experience level had topped 100 yards in back-to-back weeks in three years.
Back-to-back 100-yard games for Jackson. Last time a Raven did that was Justin Forsett in 2015.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) November 25, 2018
The Ravens held onto the ball for a whopping 12 minutes during the 15-minute 3rd quarter, and Gus Edwards was a huge reason why. He looks like another in a long line of major Ravens pickups during rookie free agency, and could very well be the Alfred Morris to Lamar Jackson's Robert Griffin III.
It helped Edwards that Alex Collins, the Ravens starter at running back throughout the first half of the season, missed Week 12 with a foot injury. While Edwards clearly earned more touches after his breakout performance against the Bengals, Ravens fans were unsure what the breakdown would look like to between the two.
It's still hard to tell what exactly the Ravens offense will look like when Joe Flacco and Collins are fully healthy again, but Edwards couldn't have made much more of an impression on the Ravens coaching staff in these last two weeks. It's hard to imagine him losing work if he keeps running for 100 yards every game while averaging more than five yards per carry.
There's a reason why Edwards went undrafted, but for the last two weeks at least, he looks like an elite running back, and clearly the best fit in the current Baltimore backfield.
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