© Tommy Gilligan- USA TODAY Sports

Gus Edwards’ Breakout Game a Glimpse of What's to Come

November 20, 2018 - 12:11 pm
Categories: 

By Joe Schiller 

Lamar Jackson’s debut as a starter stole the headlines this weekend, rightfully so, as he led the Baltimore Ravens to a 24-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

But lost in the crucial win to stay in playoff contention was the performance of running back Gus Edwards.

The undrafted rookie out of Rutgers rushed for 115 yards yards on 17 carries, including the game-tying 11-yard touchdown and two-point conversion late in the third quarter.

Edwards was waived during 53-man roster cuts but signed the following day to the Ravens’ practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster the week of the team’s 21-0 win over the Tennessee Titans.

Edwards rushed for 42 yards but his performance five weeks later was relatively unexpected. He and Jackson became the first pair of rookies in NFL history to each rush for over 100 yards in a game.

What we saw may not be a fluke going forward.

“Very impressed. The whole backfield got a game ball,” said John Harbaugh following the win. “Lamar [Jackson], Alex [Collins] and Gus [Edwards] …Gus was north and south. He’s a physical guy. He has been practicing really well. When those young guys start practicing well for weeks after weeks, you want to get them out there. Then he was playing well on special teams, so it gave an indication that he was ready. He sure took the bull by the horns.”

Edwards was the first Ravens running back to rush for over 100 yards this season and out snapped Alex Collins 49 to 17. This was a must-win game and the workload Edwards received speaks volumes.

Following a 973-yard season in 2017, Collins hasn’t seen the same success. While the Ravens didn’t draft a running back in the offseason, Harbaugh’s noncommittal tone about a starting running back provided an interesting perspective.

Edwards, along with Mark Thompson and De’Lance Turner were brought in as undrafted backs.

The Ravens draw a favorable matchup this week against the Oakland Raiders, a team giving up 142.3 rushing yards per game this season.

For the sake of Jackson’s health, its highly unlikely he rushes 20 times again and with Edwards having the hot hand, he could be the go-to back for the second straight week as the Ravens sit among a crowded group of 5-5 teams in the AFC.

When asked on Monday if Edwards will receive more carries going forward, Harbaugh simply replied, "Yes."