Ravens running back Kenyan Drake looks to have found his groove in Baltimore after being with a new team in each of the last three seasons.
Drake, a key contributor amid the Ravens’ two-game win streak, explained to NFL Network’s Steve Wyche on NFL NOW how Baltimore’s offense starts with quarterback Lamar Jackson’s play style.
“It starts with eight [Lamar Jackson] he’s the playmaker of the team,” Drake told Wyche. “He’s his own check down so anytime he has the ball in his hands, he’s lined up to make a big play. Obviously, with the players we have and in that room in general, anybody could have a big day. I had mine against the Giants. Justice [Hill] had his, Gus [Edwards] had his. Mike [Davis] is going to have his. Everybody is going to have their day and we are just going to keep taking turns and try to do everything we can to help this team win games.”
It’s been a team contribution all around from the Ravens running backs and Jackson. The 2019 MVP quarterback is leading the team with 75 carries for 553 yards, the most by any signal-caller in 2022. This season, Baltimore has had three different rushing leaders in eight games.
Before he played with Jackson, Drake spent two seasons in Arizona playing with Cardinals QB Kyler Murray. When asked to compare both talented young quarterbacks, the veteran running back shared the differences between the Pro Bowlers.
“Yeah, they definitely have similarities and differences. Kyler, he’s his own kind of playmaker in a sense as well,” Drake said. “[Jackson] is just a game-breaker man. I feel like anytime somebody’s in the backfield and the play kind of breaks down a D-lineman or safety that has a little bit more athletic ability, he just makes people look silly and it’s amazing kind of just seeing it in person. Because seeing it on TV is one thing, but seeing it in person you’re kind of tapping him on the back of the helmet like ‘I don’t know how you made that play but let’s keep going.'”
Baltimore boasts the second-ranked rushing offense in the league heading into Week 9.
With Drake contributing his longest run of the season (40 yards) in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he explained how Jackson impacts the running game as a dual-threat QB.
“It creates a crazy dimension of how a defense can spread out,” he said. “Especially when we run sideways and he does his own power plays sometimes when he kind of pulls it and gives it. It makes it look like he still has the ball and takes two to three guys with him because they have to respect his ability even without the ball. So, with him just being that much of a playmaker it creates these crazy running lanes for us to just do our job. We kind of continue to do that week in and week out and it makes it easy for us.”
Those highlights from Jackson and Baltimore (5-3) have them atop the AFC North division heading into its Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints (3-5) on Monday night.
“We got a big game coming up against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans,” Drake said. “That’s going to be a crazy atmosphere, prime-time Monday night can’t really get too better of an atmosphere.”
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