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RGIII likens Ravens' run game to Jordan fadeaway

Since Lamar Jackson took over in Week 11, defenses know the Baltimore Ravens are running the ball. The Ravens know that defenses know they're running the ball. And defenses know that they know that they know.

No one can stop it.

Since the rookie signal-caller took over seven games ago, the Ravens run offense ranks first in run play percent (63.7), rush attempts per game (45.1), rushing yards per game (229.6) and rushing first downs (88). Oh, and Baltimore has rushed their way into the playoffs.

Ravens backup quarterback Robert Griffin III equated Jackson and the Ravens' run game to the most unstoppable basketball play in history: The Jordan fadeaway.

"I don't know if we can put Lamar Jackson in this rare air, but when Michael Jordan was playing, everybody knew he was going to shoot the fadeaway. But they still had to stop it," RGIII said, via "Even if you know it's coming, you still have to tackle, you still have to make plays on the field. That's the mindset we have.

"When your talent is supposed to show, it'll show, just like when Michael was out there backing guys down and shooting the fadeaway. Sometimes, it's hard to stop."

It's no secret the Ravens will run the ball. Defenses have yet to catch up. Since Jackson entered the lineup, Baltimore is earning 19.4 more carries per game and 136.9 more rush YPG.

The combination of Jackson and running back Gus Edwards gives defenses nightmares. The tandem combined for 1,210 rush yards since Week 11 (most of any teammate duo in NFL) -- 6 combined rush TD during that span (T-7th in NFL).

If defenses try to slow Jackson from getting to the edge, Edward's quick first step up the gut will punish them north and south. If defenses throw bodies at the running back, Jackson can skirt to the edge for chunk gains. Toss in a spry Kenneth Dixon ripping off gashing runs, and the Ravens have a triple-threat.

The game plan for the Ravens works in tandem with the defense. With Baltimore running far more plays that it's opponents, the D stays fresh and can punish opponents. Shortening the game also adds the benefit of allowing fewer opportunities for foes.

Ravens doubters generally stick by the line that the offense isn't sustainable, that sooner or later the rest of the league will figure it out, or Jackson will inevitably get hurt.

Coach John Harbaugh brushed off those non-believers.

"We already are sold on [the sustainability of the offense] or we wouldn't be running the offense," Harbaugh said. "We already believe that, and this is not some fly-by-night offense."

The biggest test comes Sunday afternoon in the playoff matchup versus the Chargers. L.A. is the first defense to face the Jackson-led Ravens offense twice. In the first go-round, a fortnight ago, Gus Bradley's defense held the quarterback to a starter-low of 39 yards rushing. However, Edwards popped off for 92 yards on the ground, and Jackson enjoyed the best passing day of his career (204 yards, 9.3 yards per attempt, 101.3 passer rating).

The rookie quarterback noted that whatever adjustments the Chargers make in the rematch, the Ravens will be ready to combat.

"We watch film just like they do," Jackson said. "So whatever they do, we're trying to match that or do better. It doesn't really matter."

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