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Why Gus Edwards is underrated

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Baltimore Ravens broke the single-season team rushing record. Lamar Jackson was rightfully awarded the NFL MVP, and Mark Ingram was selected to the Pro Bowl. However, there was another player that was a key part of Baltimore's rushing attack. That player is Gus Edwards.

Let's dive into his statistics from last season. He was remarkably productive considering that he was playing behind Mark Ingram. Edwards was able to rush for 711 yards and two touchdowns on 133 carries, which gave him an average of 5.3 yards per carry; that was second in the NFL among running backs. That rate of efficiency was not without precedent, either. Edwards had a near identical season statistically in 2018. He rushed for 718 yards and two touchdowns on 137 carries, which gave him an average of 5.2 yards per carry. So, we can conclude from this data that Edwards is an extremely efficient number two running back, but he has shown the ability to be the lead back when given the opportunity. Edwards has topped 20 carries in three games during his career and was still able to maintain an average of 5.1 yards per carry across those games. Here is a quick breakdown:

2018 Week 6 vs. Oakland: 23 carries, 118 yards

2018 Week 7 at Atlanta: 21 carries, 82 yards

2019 Week 17 vs. Pittsburgh: 21 carries, 130 yards

That Week 17 matchup against the Steelers was the best sample for evaluating Edwards. Robert Griffin III started at quarterback, while Lamar Jackson rested for the playoffs. On the other side, the Steelers were fighting to make the playoffs. Under those conditions, Edwards still managed to have a career game.

With J.K. Dobbins now on the roster, Edwards will likely have his role reduced this season. Nevertheless, the Ravens are lucky to have a player capable of being an above average starter as their second or third running back.