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Najee Harris Wanted To Make The Ravens Quit: ‘If Things Work Out, We’ll Come Back’



Steelers RB Najee Harris

After running all over Seattle least week, Najee Harris had an encore performance against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. Harris rushed for 112 yards on 26 carries (4.3 average) and a touchdown in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win over Baltimore to keep their playoff hopes alive. Harris recorded back-to-back 100-yard rushing games for the first time in his career.

Harris also became the first running back in franchise history to begin their career with three seasons of 1,000 yards or more. Harris, who needed 77 yards to reach 1,000 yards, accomplished the feat in the third quarter, with a four-yard run. 

With rainy conditions in Baltimore, it was ideal for the Steelers to give Harris and Jaylen Warren a healthy dose of carries. The Ravens’ run defense has been leaking lately, as well. They have allowed 5.2 yards per carry and 125.4 yards per game since their loss to Cleveland at home in Week 10.

The Steelers rushed for 155 yards and averaged 4.0 yards per carry against Baltimore. With having the No. 1 seed in the AFC locked up, the Ravens rested a few defensive starters. Harris, however, doesn’t think it mattered who the Ravens had playing.

“I mean, wasn’t really too worried about who was going to be playing,” Harris said. “We knew that guys were going to play, but I mean, like shoot, last year, we did the same thing with all the guys in it. The first game wasn’t the running numbers but whenever teams play against us, we’re never worried about who’s playing and who’s not. We just got to worry about getting a win. So, this game right here, we knew they were going to rest some of their guys, but the main thing for us to do was to get the win so we can even get into the playoffs. That’s all that matters. And man, we did that today.

“We didn’t really care about who was out there or how long they were going to play. We really, you know, whoever was in there, we wanted to play so physical that if they did play their ones, their guys, we wanted [John] Harbaugh to say, ‘You know, we’ve got to get them out of there because of how physical we’re playing.’ So, I think we did that today, and hopefully we get to … I think we’ll play them again, right? If things work out, we’ll come back.”

The Steelers’ rushing attack has been lethal since Week 10, averaging 142.8 yards per game. Harris and Warren have become one of the best running back duos in the league. They both came into Saturday’s game with over 1,000 yards from scrimmage, marking just the fourth time in franchise history that two backs have tallied over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in a season, joining Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier (1976), Walter Abercrombie and Frank Pollard (1985) and Abercrombie and Earnest Jackson (1986).

Per Next Gen Stats, Harris had +14 rushing yards over expected (RYOE) against the Ravens, his third straight game of positive RYOE. Harris saw most of his production come on inside runs, recording 100 yards and a touchdown on 19 such carries.