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Alex Collins closing in on a 1,000 yard season

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Collins has a chance to cap a season that saw him become the starting running back a quarter of the way through it with an impressive accomplishment. Collins came out of nowhere and his performance was a surprise to most, despite a stellar career at Arkansas which saw him showcase the abilities that have made him the Ravens lead back.

Collins is the best back the Ravens have had since Ray Rice and though he is not on the latter's talent level, his emergence makes the running back position one of secondary need in the upcoming offseason. He is 105 yards short of 1,000 and the (likely) Vontaze Burfict-less Bengals are the last opponents on the schedule. Collins will need to showcase his now trademark dancer feet and deceptive speed to the corner.

While the Ravens offensive line has played remarkably well considering the injuries, there is no doubt that scheme, Collins - and to some extent Buck Allen - have helped make the rushing numbers better than what the line has blocked. Collins has broken tackles with regularity, and rarely found himslef bursting through the second level untouched.

It is excciting to realize that we have yet to see the Ravens rushing offense reach its full potential. The returns of Marshall Yanda, Alex Lewis and Nico Siragusa should only help bolster an interior that for all intents and purposes did feature James Hurst and Matt Skura.

Collins reaching 1,000 yards would cement him as the feature back of the future for Baltimore. Pairing him with a mismatch weapon like Kenneth Dixon or Gerogia's Sony Michel and an improved offensive line could turn the Ravens running game from pleasant surprise to physical juggernaut.