Baltimore Ravens

A changing of the guard has taken place with Baltimore going on to win the AFC North title and snapping a three-year playoff absence with Lamar Jackson proving to be the main ingredient that allowed the Ravens to pull off the feat. Though the 2018-19 season ended in a cruel fashion in the Wildcard round after falling at home to a Los Angeles Chargers team it manhandled only two weeks prior, the season will no doubt be used as a building block for what’s to come. Baltimore went 6-1 straight up and 4-3 against the spread at offshore sportsbooks with Jackson under center in the regular season which is one of the reasons why the Ravens currently own an 8.5 game season win total. That said, they still sit behind both the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers to repeat as division winners which goes to show just how competitive the AFC North is likely to be over the course of the 2019-20 regular season.

We all know about Jackson’s ability to rush the pigskin. He did it throughout his stay in Louisville and picked right back up where he left off at the NFL level after turning 147 rushing attempts into 695 yards and 5 TD. Mind you, that output was racked up in a grand total of seven games! However, Jackson will not be long for the NFL if asked to routinely run with the ball that many times per game. Mark Ingram was brought in to help shoulder the rushing load, and the mini bowling ball should fit right into the Ravens powerful rushing attack. Baltimore snagged Marquise Brown in the draft in hopes that he becomes the difference maker Baltimore’s anemic passing attack needs to turn things around. That will only come to fruition however once Jackson learns how to effectively sling the rock around the ball yard efficiently and effectively; a sub 59.0 percent completion percentage simply won’t get it done in this day and age of the NFL!

The losses and defections on the defensive side of the ball are concerning for a stop unit that led the league in total defense a short season ago. No longer lining up for Don Martindale are Terrell Suggs, CJ Mosley, Eric Weddle and Za’Darius Smith. That quadrant combined for 175 tackles and 17 sacks of opposing quarterbacks last season. Instead of hitting the free agent market and looking to find another lethal weapon on that side of the ball, the Ravens were content with looking within and expecting their young talent to step in and rise to the occasion. While Matt Judon and company are talking the talk in expecting this year’s unit to be just as good as lasts, they’re yet to walk the walk. For the first time in ages, Baltimore’s offense just might hold the advantage over its defense.