This season, the Ravens’ offense has been extremely inconsistent. The team has had to reconnect with their true identity on offense, and they have found it in the form of Alex Collins. Collins has been one of the biggest surprises for Baltimore as he has bursted onto the scene. It is hard to imagine the Ravens’ offense being successful without Collins.
Interestingly enough, against Cleveland, the Ravens found themselves in that kind of situation. Off the heels of a fantastic performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Collins was shut down in Cleveland. The Browns boasted the sixth best rush defense, and Baltimore’s offensive line struggled in run-blocking. However, they found success in the passing game and the Ravens’ defense was dominant.
Collins was limited to 19 yards on 12 carries. Javorius Allen was able to get the majority of the carries towards the end of the game and picked up the slack for Collins.
This is a Ravens team that needs Collins to continue his strong play if they want to get into the postseason.
On Saturday, Collins and the Ravens will take on the Indianapolis Colts, a team that has the 29th ranked defense against the run. Still, the Colts know Baltimore is going to try to run the football and will focus their attention on Collins to spoil the Ravens chances at the playoffs.
The Chuck Pagano factor and his familiarity with the Ravens also will have an effect. Baltimore’s offensive line can't be pushed around again in order for Collins to have a bounce back performance, especially since the Ravens are not a team that usually beats opposing teams in the passing attack.
Not to mention, Jeremy Maclin likely being out adds even more importance for the Ravens to get Collins and the running game going.