The Baltimore Ravens understood when they drafted him that moving forward with Lamar Jackson as their quarterback would require a somewhat different approach than that which most teams are taking. While they are confident in his ability to throw the ball, his talents are best suited to a run-heavy offense, one that includes him running a fair amount himself. But the threat of his running greatly strengthens the run game overall.
And it’s been incredibly obvious during his second season. As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk pointed out, the Ravens are actually on pace to make NFL history by breaking the all-time record for rushing yards in a single season.
In 2019. A record that has stood since 1978.
With 1230 rushing yards already on the season—nobody else even has 1000 yet—Baltimore is currently on pace to post 3280 rushing yards over the course of the year. The current record, set by the New England Patriots in 1978, is 3165.
Against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the Ravens put up 269 rushing yards as a team. That included 152 yards by Jackson himself, which is the fourth-most by a quarterback in a single game in NFL history, and just the sixth instance of a quarterback rushing for at least 150 yards or more in a game.
But it’s not just Jackson, of course. He’s not putting up 100-plus yards every week. Mark Ingram has been their workhorse and also leads the league in rushing touchdowns. He rushed for 52 yards on 13 carries, while second-year Gus Edwards chipped in another 34 yards on six carries, and rookie Justice Hill got five carries himself for 31 yards. As a team they averaged 6.3 yards per attempt on 43 attempts.
Jackson actually currently leads the team in rushing following Sunday’s game with 460 yards. He is on pace to become the second quarterback in NFL history, joining Michael Vick, to rush for at least 1000 yards in a season, and he is trending toward breaking that record himself.
But Ingram also has 424 yards on the year on 87 carries with seven touchdowns. Edwards has 199 yards on 44 carries, while Hill has another 78 yards on 18 carries. Add in six yards from Robert Griffin III and a 60-yard trick play on special teams by Anthony Levine, and you get your 1230-yard total.
Comparatively, they have only allowed 484 yards on the ground this season, albeit on just 110 attempts. They are allowing 4.4 yards per carry and have given up eight rushing touchdowns, just one fewer than they have scored, so their run defense, although not frequently tested, has not been up to snuff, either.