The Ravens Must Start To Lean On Kenneth Dixon
The emergence of Kenneth Dixon is a much needed spark to a struggling Ravens offense.
The Baltimore Ravens knew they had something special when they drafted Kenneth Dixon. He was selected in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL draft and was thought to have been a steal by many experts. His college resume was quite impressive. Dixon finished with 87 career total touchdowns, only second to his Raven’s teammate Keenan Reynolds. Experts have predicted that Dixon is going to have a solid career and he is already showing flashes.
During the preseason, Dixon totaled 107 yards off of 22 carries. His early production brought hope to the team and fans. Once the Ravens released Justin Forsett in September, Dixon quickly moved up the depth chart. The move questioned many fans, but the Ozzie Newsome and the coaching staff knew that the rookie could fill the open void.
After missing the first four games of the season with a knee injury, Dixon has made an immediate impact to the offense in his return. On Sunday, he totaled 80 yards for the second time in three weeks. His 17 touches was a career high he has had more touches in the past two games than teammate Terrance West. West ran the ball well in the beginning of the season, but has slowed down his production in recent weeks.
It is time to the Ravens to start leaning on Dixon down this last stretch of important games.
If the Ravens want to revitalize their offense, they are going to need to rely on Dixon. He is a threat in the running and the passing game. Terrance West is more of a power-back and is useful in goal line and short yardage situations.
Joe Flacco loves to check down to running backs and Kenneth Dixon can flourish because of this. Once he has the ball, he is very hard to tackle. At only a height of 5’10, he knows how to stay low and is able to break tackles. There have been many times where Dixon has looked down in the backfield, but has evaded defenders and gained positive yards.
It is too early to give the majority of touches to a rookie running back? I can’t see that being a valid argument. This is the same team that started a rookie quarterback and running back during the 2008 season and made the AFC Championship. Rookies like Matt Judon are making a tremendous impact on defense this season. It does not matter whether the player has played one or 10 years in the league. If Dixon can contribute, he should be getting touches.
The Ravens are young at the running back position with Dixon at age 22 and West at 25. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg must commit to the running game to make sure Dixon is getting a sufficient amount of touches. I think that he will slowly ease his way into the starting running back position by the end of the season.
I’m not saying the Ravens should completely turn away from West. West has been a great fill-in after the departure of Justin Forsett, but the production of Dixon in the running and passing game is too much to pass up.