Baltimore Ravens retro rock backfield with Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell – Baltimore Ravens blog


OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The running joke in the Baltimore Ravens’ 34-6 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday was that coach John Harbaugh’s fantastic team in 2016 was fantastic.

Latavius ​​Murray, Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell all scored touchdowns as the Ravens’ new hasty attack leaned on older, high-profile running backs. The next few weeks will determine whether this backfield of former Pro Bowl runners becomes a novelty or an addition to quarterback Lamar Jackson.

“For these guys to come in, they were all in a place where they felt like they had something to prove, and they kind of got turned down. [from other teams], just a little, ”Harbaugh said. “To make this opportunity come out the way it did, God is working in mysterious ways. Seeing what they’re going to do for the rest of the season is a pretty cool story. I can’t wait to see how it plays out. “

Baltimore (5-1) hosts Cincinnati (4-2) on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS) in a battle for the first place of the AFC North, and the Ravens have dominated the Bengals for the past two years as they lead the Ball. The Ravens have averaged 244 rushing yards in their last four meetings with the Bengals.

If Baltimore continues this success on the pitch, it will be with a backfield that no one envisioned. Weeks before the start of the season, running back JK Dobbins and top substitute Gus Edwards both suffered knee injuries ending the season.

The Ravens signed Murray (31) and Freeman (29), both cut by the New Orleans Saints. Baltimore also added Bell (29) to accompany Ty’Son Williams, a player on the practice squad a year ago.

Suddenly the Ravens went from two young backers who helped them gain over 3,000 rushing yards last season to three veterans who combined for six Pro Bowls from 2014 to 2017. It was a start. slow for the Baltimore backers, who averaged 79.6 rushing yards in their first five games (21st in the NFL). On Sunday against the Chargers, the Ravens running backs totaled 115 rushing yards, including 91 yards before first contact.

“It’s such a unique situation that the three of us are with us,” said Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman. “They are doing a good job. We will continue to be on the same page and understand everything we do together as we move forward.

There was another change for the Ravens’ racing game on Friday. Murray, who had starred and started the last three games, was sent off with a sprained left ankle.

Freeman is expected to start and Bell would be No. 2 back. Freeman, whose most recent start was last October, ran with a flurry and leads the Baltimore backers averaging 5.9 yards per carry.

“I don’t feel like I want to prove anything to anyone,” said Freeman, who ran 95 yards on 16 carries. “I’m just trying to work, improve and take my game to the next level. Just keep pushing myself and seeing how far I can reach. I play soccer. It’s a dream come true, always, especially in the NFL. So for me, I’m just excited to be there. I’m just writing the book. “

Bell, who hasn’t attended training camp this year, needed time to get back in shape after signing with the Ravens’ training squad on September 7. An average of 2.4 yards per carry this season, he is best known for his pass protection. that its running when high for two games. His best moment was a 2-yard touchdown run on Sunday, and he was so excited he forgot to celebrate.

Bell recently tweeted, “Literally just having fun. Life is what you make of it and it is a blessing to say the least. “

The Ravens’ running backs won’t have to lead the running game because Jackson is such a dangerous runner. He’s number 7 in the NFL with 392 rushing yards.

But Murray, Freeman and Bell can help the Ravens exploit below-par run defenses. After next week’s bye, Baltimore faces three teams that are in the lower half of the NFL against the race: the Minnesota Vikings (23rd), the Miami Dolphins (22nd) and the Chicago Bears (18th).

“We, by and large, in the runners hall, can take it to another level,” said Freeman. terminology, it makes you play a bit slower. But we’re in the NFL, and it’s a fast-paced business, so they expect us to know that. We have to enter and run every time our number is called.

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