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Kenyan Drake Breaks Out Against Giants

Baltimore Ravens' Kenyan Drake (17) runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
Baltimore Ravens' Kenyan Drake (17) runs during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.

After J.K. Dobbins' knee tightened up, Kenyan Drake broke loose.

Drake's stellar performance Sunday wasn't enough to lift Baltimore to victory, but he showed his potential to be a key component in Baltimore's running attack. Rushing for 119 yards on just 10 carries during, Drake carried the Ravens' running attack during Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Giants.

Dobbins sat out the second half after his knee tightened up, but Drake averaged an eye-popping 11.9 yards per carry. He had not reached 100 yards in a game since 2020 when he played for the Arizona Cardinals, and he suffered a broken ankle last season that ended his time with the Las Vegas Raiders.

However, Drake looked like he was 100 percent Sunday running with power, sharp cuts and excellent vision. Drake credited Baltimore's offensive line for opening gaping holes, but Drake was in rhythm and the Ravens kept riding him.

"It's always next man up mentality, and he (Dobbins) was my biggest cheerleader," Drake said. "He's coming off an injury and I'm coming off one myself. I felt as good as I've felt since my injury. I'm going to use it for momentum moving forward."

Drake announced to the Giants that he would be a major problem in the second quarter when he exploded for a 30-yard touchdown run for the first score of the game. After finding a crease to reach the second level of New York's defense, Drake turned on the speed and ran into the end zone untouched.

That was Drake's longest run of the day, but he had many others that were impressive. He ran effectively between the tackles, and on several carries he showed the quickness to bounce outside and turn the corner when there was too much traffic inside.

"K.D. did a really good job," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He hit some runs, made some plays where he had to bounce one way or the other, front side or back side, hit some downhill runs. He played really well." 

The 28-year-old Drake had his best season in 2020 when he rushed for 955 yards and 10 touchdowns with Arizona. There wasn't a lot of fanfare when the Ravens signed Drake in August after he was released by the Raiders, but with each week Drake has gotten more familiar with Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman's running schemes. Drake hopes to build off Sunday's showing, but more importantly he wants to help the Ravens win.

"It's a team game, so any individual accolade is kind of on the backburner when it comes to the ultimate goal, which is winning the game," Drake said. "I was running through holes, and I wasn't getting touched until the second level, so you have to give your hats off to the boys up front and the scheme that we kind of had for these boys this week. I just kind of did my job to the best of my ability, and we made a lot of progress in that department in terms of how I was at the beginning of the season. I'm just ready to continue to go on."

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