Following two full weekends of NFL games in the 2021-22 Season, the Baltimore Ravens are counting their blessings after outlasting the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 36-35 last Sunday night. If the Ravens had fallen to the Chiefs, they would have been left standing with a win-loss record of 0-2.
In prior seasons, the NFL Playoffs were unfriendly to teams that lost their first two contests, but now that the league has expanded to a 14-team format, fans have much more reason for optimism despite consistent failure at the onset of the season.
Either way, the Ravens managed to avoid placing themselves in a 2-game hole to begin the 2021-22 NFL season, and 18+ Super Bowl betting sites still have them placed 6th overall in the odds to win this year’s Lombardi Trophy.
Consider this. The Chiefs’ odds to win Super Bowl 56 are still the highest on the board, and they have remained so since the beginning of last season.
Did the leading Super Bowl LVI contender in at online NFL sportsbooks really just lose at Arrowhead to a Ravens team that is operating at half-strength on offense?
Sure, there is plenty of reason for concern for Baltimore on the defensive side of the ball when giving up 35 points, even to the best offense in the National Football League in KC.
There is also cause to celebrate their success on offense, however, as they were able to post 36 points on the board without a legitimate starting running back.
When your quarterback is inarguably the greatest rushing threat the NFL has ever seen at the position, other ball carriers can easily benefit from their presents in the offensive backfield.
That appears to be the case in Baltimore, as they racked up the following rushing totals during Sunday Night Football against Kansas City.
Week 2 Baltimore Ravens Rushing Statistics vs. Kansas City Chiefs
- Lamar Jackson – 16 rushes, 107 yards, 2 touchdowns
- Ty’Son Williams – 13 carries, 77 yards
- Latavius Murray – 9 rushes, 36 yards, 1 touchdown
- Devonta Freeman – 2 carries, 29 yards
- Ricard – 1 carry for 2 yards
Other than the one-tote outlier for fullback Patrick Ricard, every rusher for the Ravens averaged over 4 yards per carry. This is significant because Baltimore’s top rusher from last year, speedster J.K. Dobbins, has been lost for the year due to a torn ACL injury.
Waiting in the wings on the practice squad is former All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell, but he has yet to get up to regular-season speed and hasn’t been active for an NFL snap in 2021-22.
Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, and Latavius Murray were hot commodities just a few short years ago in the NFL, but now they find themselves in journeymen roles while still under the age of 30 – save for Murray who is 31.
If this entire crew can get up to full strength, then this five-headed running-back-by-committee could have the makeup for a deep run in the postseason. NFL Playoff betting sites that cater to 18 & over gamblers are already hip to the Ravens, and they just reeled off an early-season victory against the home stadium of the Super Bowl 56 odds on favorite if you need any proof of their potential.
Sources: NFL.com | Bovada