Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Alex Collins Faces Huge Test Against Saints

October 19, 2018 - 10:09 am

By Austin Medina  

The Ravens have played against the grain this season. In a league with pass heavy, high-powered offenses, Baltimore has won with defense and the run game.

After Kenneth Dixon injured his knee and went on the IR, the time came for Alex Collins to emerge as a true number-one back.

Through six games, Collins has ran for 271 yards and four touchdowns. At an average 3.6 yards per carry, Collins hasn’t produced as many hoped. Not yet.

Collins’ season is defined by what occurred in Pittsburgh. The Ravens dominated from the start and led 14-0. After a 71 yard pass to John Brown, the Ravens kept it simple. Run the ball in on the goal line. Collins already rushed for 20 yards on just four carries. A goal line fumble prevented the Ravens from going up 21-0, and evidently stalled Collins touches since.

In the following game against Cleveland, Collins racked up just 12 carries. Playing time looked bleak for Collins but after the game against Tennessee, Collins seemed t have regained Baltimore’s trust. He ran the ball 19 times, which is his season high.

Collins will be tested this week against the Saints, who have the #1 rush defense in the NFL. On the season, New Orleans surrenders just 71.4 yards per game on the ground.

For the Ravens it is imperative they establish the run game early. No team wants to get in to a shootout with Drew Brees and the Saints. If Collins performs at a high level along with the offensive line, the Ravens could win time possession and control the game.

Expect Collins to have a breakout game, as his touches increased last week. The Ravens offensive line may have gotten a boost in the run game as Orlando Brown Jr. as been praised for his run-blocking. He expects to start as guard Alex Lewis is day-to-day with a pinched nerve.