This article is going to be about the state of the Baltimore Ravens’ run game going forward, but first, Justin Forsett deserves a proper farewell. The man has been a class act for over two years now in Baltimore.
The epitome of a team player, Forsett joined the Ravens during the aftermath of the Ray Rice situation before the 2014 season. Being an afterthought at first, many people were surprised when Forsett ran his way to his first Pro Bowl ballot.
The offensive line was great, and Joe Flacco had great chemistry with Steve Smith Sr., Torrey Smith, and Owen Daniels. The offense turned out to be the best in Ravens franchise history.
Forsett was given his first chance to start after five seasons and three teams across the league. He ended with 1,266 yards and 8 touchdowns along with 263 receiving yards. He became a fan favorite, and made a difference off the field, too.
This year, he helped flooded victims in Baton Rouge while the Ravens were in town for a preseason game. He also helped raise over $100,000 in water bottles and body wipes for Flint, Michigan citizens. He has been a great man on and off the field for Baltimore, and everyone is proud of his performance and legacy for the city.
Good luck finding a team and for the rest of your career, Mr. Forsett, you deserve the best.
As for the current state of the Ravens’ running game going forward: They still have question marks. Terrance West is coming off of a career day, yes. But that was against the Oakland Raider’s last ranked run defense.
Ronnie Stanley, Alex Lewis, and Kenneth Dixon are all banged up and recovering from injury. Lorenzo Taliaferro is still on the PUP list until week seven. That leaves a healthy Terrence West and Buck Allen running behind a second-string left side of the offensive line.
West has shown enough to be the featured back this week against a weak Redskins run defense. Allen has flashed potential catching passes out of the backfield, but not much else. Dixon’s preseason performance will warrant touches when he is healthy. Taliaferro hasn’t played a game in over a year, but is a dark horse candidate to be the goal-line back when he returns.
Forsett was a great mentor and veteran presence for this young running back squad. The team lost leadership with his departure, but the hope is production will go up with a feature back. It’s harder for a running back to get hot when he’s sharing half team’s rushes with another back.
Departing with Forsett was a good move for both sides. The Ravens have young backs who need the ball now, and Forsett will be able to catch on elsewhere. Baltimore also employs two young starting offensive linemen to go along with their young backfield.
Stanley and Lewis are both young, talented offensive lineman. So far their pass blocking has been better than expected. There is no reason to believe that as the year goes on they will improve on their run blocking too.