When Buck Allen was drafted in the fourth round of this year's draft, we expected him to do big things one day, just not so soon. He was expected to fill an auxiliary role as a rookie, the same role that other young Raven backs have had to fill over the years. We saw flashes of greatness during the season, as Buck would take a run explosively up the gut, or a short pass further down the sideline than anyone expected him too. But alas, our young Buck would have to wait a few years before he could really show us what he could do.
That was the main train of thought, but then Justin Forsett was thrown down into the turf, and came up with a lame limb.
Next man up? That'd Buck Allen.
In an encore performance to his first NFL start last week, Allen managed to almost set a new franchise record. His 12 receptions rank third in Ravens' history for single-game receptions, a record held by both Steve Smith, Sr. and Priest Holmes at 13 receptions. Allen managed to make those 12 receptions count too, turning them into 107 receiving yards and taking one of those catches to the house on a brilliant 41-yard catch-and-run. Allen showcased his superb discipline, moves, and speed on the play, and it was his second catch-and-run touchdown in the past two weeks. The play truly kept the Ravens' offense alive and in the game. This performance was good enough in my eyes to garner him our 'Player of the Game' honors.
What's even scarier is that we haven't seen what Buck can do on the ground. Last week, he only got the ball 12 times, but made those carries count with a 55 yard performance. Against a formidable Dolphins' front line this week, he still posted a respectable 17-63 line and a 3.6 YPC average. What's even more impressive is that he's gotten these numbers behind an incredibly weak and injured offensive line. Once he develops and runs behind a healthy line, there's no doubt in my mind that these numbers can be much better.
The sky is the limit for Buck Allen, and this trial run in unfortunate circumstances has certainly proven that. The Ravens might just have their next franchise back.