After three opposing running backs in the past four games had run for more than 100 yards, the Ravens got into the act with their own 100-yard rusher.
Alex Collins carried the ball 18 times for 113 yards to become the team’s first ball carrier to reach the 100-yard threshold since Terrance West (Northwestern High, Towson University) amassed a career-high 113 yards and a touchdown on 21 attempts in a 28-27 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 2, 2016.
“It feels amazing,” said Collins, whose previous career best was 82 yards most recently in a 26-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 1. “It’s been long coming. I’ve been close a few times, and you know, just the encouragement from the teammates, the other running backs, the O-line, everybody just wanted to make it happen for me and really worked extra hard making it happen for me.”
With a 3-yard run on the offense’s first snap of the fourth quarter, Collins reached 102 yards. Collins has helped fill the void created by a left calf injury that has sidelined West for the past three contests and leapfrogged Buck Allen on the depth chart.
Afterward, coach John Harbaugh revealed that Collins received a game ball, and center Ryan Jensen applauded the running back’s physical style.
“He’s a vicious runner. That’s kind of how I describe him,” Jensen said. “He’s elusive, but he’ll hit it downhill and run some guys over and break tackles.”
A second-year player who was cut by the Seattle Seahawks and signed by the Ravens to their practice squad on Sept. 5 before getting promoted to the active roster 12 days later, Collins now leads the offense in rushing with 478 yards despite carrying the ball 19 fewer times than Allen (356 yards) has.
“It’s just an opportunity thing,” Collins said. “We had a few injuries and with the studying and learning the playbook and other running backs helping me along, I was just preparing myself for this position if it was to happen, and it happened, and it worked out for me.”