The Ravens have been in the news a lot in the days leading up to their first game due to an unprecedented rash of injuries at the RB position. Their top three RBs on the depth chart at the start of training camp are all injured and out for the season before week one began. Many wonder if the Ravens can overcome this and believe a monster season from Lamar Jackson is the only way they can. However, now that the Ravens have one of the least talented RB groups in the NFL, they will also need great offensive line play this season.
Monday's game was a mixed bag for the Ravens in terms of their run blocking. The play below is the Ravens first play from scrimmage of the night. The Ravens best player Ronnie Staley, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in 2020, gets blown up and disrupts any chance of this play working.
In this next play, the Ravens do an excellent job upfront to spring a 35-yard touchdown run right up the middle. All five guys did a good job, as a bunch of guys got their defender sealed. It is rare to have long touchdown runs up the middle in the NFL. When it happens, there is a great chance the offensive line did a good job.
Coming into this season, I was worried about the right side of the Ravens offensive line's ability to run block consistently. Both Villanueva and Zeitler were good in pass pro in 2020 but struggled run blocking. This next play highlights them both getting beat and allowing a loss of three yards.
Lamar Jackson is a key element to the Ravens running game, and in the fourth play, we see an example of a big run off of a read-option play. While Jackson's elusiveness allows him to turn a potential one-yard gain into 15, the offensive line also does a great job.
This final play shows another rushing TD by a Ravens RB in which all five Ravens offensive linemen do a good job and get their defenders blocked. Stanley, Ben Powers, and Bradley Bozeman, from center to the left, were all crucial in springing this play.