From the beginning of training camp runningback Terrance West blew away the competition. He was given a small chance of landing on the roster, but through consistent work and production West became the Ravens starter by week four. Somehow though, he’s losing reps and there’s not a reason why.
The Ravens possess two young, talented tailbacks. Terrance West, as I’ve mentioned, but also, Kenneth Dixon. The rookie with flashy moves, great hands and a knack for making people miss. With him only getting better, Baltimore cannot wait for him to became their number one player; it’s been clear since the 2016 NFL Draft. But the Ravens, as I mentioned, cannot wait. They’re already forcing him into the role while also pushing Terrance West to the backseat.
We all know the Ravens as a whole are not running. Against New England, Baltimore threw the ball 52 times. Whether or not that was the gameplan going in, the Ravens are leading the NFL in pass attempts, meaning they’re clearly not running enough.
Of those 52 passes against New England, 11 went in Kenneth Dixon’s direction. No doubt the gameplan was to throw the checkdown against New England’s zone coverage, but Baltimore did so without establishing a run. You cannot become one-dimensional against any team, let alone a Bill Belichick squad. They’ll start adjustments and find how to shut you down. It was only a matter of time. Baltimore couldn’t sustain drives all game long, which ultimately led to their loss on Monday.
The reasons for a lack of run still haven’t been answered, but even when the Ravens do run, it’s with Dixon more than West.
A run game forces defenses to stay honest. The Patriots weren’t worried as the Ravens only rushed 13 times. Of the 13 rushes, Terrance only ran twice.
While the Ravens aren’t running much, T-West isn’t getting bulk. The stats over the last four games:
Terrance West: 33 Rush | 142 YDS | 2 TD | 13 TGTS | 11 receptions | 69 YDS | 1 TD
Kenneth Dixon: 36 Rush | 184 YDS | 0 TD | 20 TGTS | 16 receptions | 94 YDS | 1 TD
Terrance West is getting slightly outplayed in the yards department, but he’s scored multiple touchdowns on the ground. He’s made cuts, broken tackles and finished runs where there wasn’t a chance. There is no reason for him to be running the ball only twice in a game. His playmaking was the reason to keep him on the roster, so why isn’t Harbaugh not using him?