Aug 13, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (34) runs during the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints in a preseason NFL football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Running Back Battle
It’s kind of getting repetitive to bring up this battle, but it truly is one of the more interesting ones of camp. After the game against the Saints last week, things might have gotten even more appealing.
Justin Forsett saw the ball just twice in his lone series of work, earning three yards in the limited action. Forsett will start the season as the leading running back for Baltimore, but is the job truly his? Some think that the Ravens plan to ease one of the young backs into the starting role over time.
Taliaferro saw time with the first-team offense, including scoring the opening touchdown of the game on a 1-yard plunge on fourth-and-goal. The second-year back led the Ravens in attempts and yards, earning 36 yards on 12 carries. The numbers might not be impressive on paper, but Taliaferro looked good in his work. What is also key is that Taliaferro caught the two balls intended for him, adding 18 yards threw air. He looked quick in his smaller frame, but wasn’t lacking the power that will likely make him the leading candidate for goal-line carries.
Javorius “Buck” Allen did not have a bad game, but did nothing to impress either. His numbers were similar to Taliaferro – 35 yards on 11 carries – and he did pop off a nice 12-yard dash that showed off his elusiveness. The problem is he still has to learn to hit holes harder and failed to catch a pass thrown his way because he wasn’t looking back at the quarterback. Allen has been impressive in camp, and he didn’t hurt himself in the first preseason game. A solid second preseason game could put him in line for more work in the third preseason game that is usually the final work for teams before entering the regular season.
All three running backs will get more opportunities on Saturday night and it will be interesting to see which one shines the most. The Ravens wouldn’t mind having three players who are capable of toting the rock whenever they need it.
Next: The Turnover Machine
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