The Baltimore Ravens, after the last couple of seasons with stop-gap players at the position, may have finally found their franchise running back in the form of Alex Collins. His emergence this season has been a big bright spot in what has turned out to be yet another up-and-down campaign for this team. The Ravens claimed him off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks, and he has solidified his spot.
Last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, in what was yet another heartbreaker for the franchise against their rival, Collins helped carry the load on the offense with 18 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown in the 39-38 loss. The guy was a game changer, but due to the committee approach with Javorius Allen and Danny Woodhead, Collins was not able to reach the 20 rushing attempts mark. Baltimore has only given Collins the ball 20 times just once this season despite his emergence, and that was in Green Bay.
This is now the second time this season Collins rushed on 18 carries in a game, with the last one being on the primetime stage against the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens followed up the next week in Tennessee with a pass happy approach, and pretty much negated Collins out of the game plan with only 13 rushing attempts in a loss to the Titans. That can't happen again, even against a Cleveland Browns defense that is one of the best at stopping the run.
There are only three games to go in the remainder of the 2017 campaign, and the road to the playoffs officially starts in Cleveland. Mentally, their hopes can also end if they lose, which is why on offense, they must feed Collins the ball on a consistent basis. While he's not Le'Veon Bell or Ezekiel Elliot, it's time the Ravens start giving him the 20-plus carries needed to really lead the rushing attack and a balance on offense. Allen and Woodhead can still see their fair share, but it's the former 2016 fith-round pick Baltimore needs to be fully committed to.