The Baltimore Ravens are coming off of a particular season, however they’re hoping 2020 is even higher. Whereas Lamar Jackson received the MVP award by main the NFL’s most explosive offense and the Ravens went a league-best 14-2 within the common season, they fell to the Tennessee Titans of their first playoff recreation — which naturally left a bitter style of their mouth after such a magical yr. If something, the Ravens discovered that nothing is given to you within the postseason, and that they must comply with by if they really wish to win a championship.

Baltimore’s offense and the protection are each returning loads of starters, and one may even argue that the Ravens bought higher on paper this offseason. Whereas Baltimore did commerce for Calais Campbell to spice up the defensive position, the Ravens additionally put collectively one of many extra underrated draft courses. They picked up a number of intriguing offensive weapons that would assist Jackson transfer the ball down the sphere in his third season, and likewise chosen two linebackers who ought to are available and begin straight away. So, the query must be requested: Might the Ravens be even higher in 2020?

It will likely be onerous for Baltimore to match its 14-2 document in 2020, however they do have an excellent probability to clinch the No. 1 total seed within the AFC. Much more importantly, I believe this workforce has a greater shot this yr to win the Tremendous Bowl. Let’s check out three the reason why the Ravens would be the subsequent workforce to hoist the Lombardi trophy.

1. The most effective speeding assault within the league has improved

The Ravens speeding assault performed a key think about making them the most effective workforce within the common season final yr. They averaged 206 speeding yards per recreation and rushed for a complete of three,296 yards — each of which ranked first within the NFL — and so they had two rushers go over 1,000 yards. Jackson racked up 1,206 yards on the bottom and 7 touchdowns whereas Mark Ingram recorded his first-ever 1,000-yard season — speeding for 1,018 yards and including 10 touchdowns. They weren’t the one rushers Baltimore relied on, nevertheless. Gus Edwards rushed for 711 yards and 5 touchdowns and rookie Justice Hill did his half as nicely, speeding for 225 yards and two touchdowns. With Hill being solely 22, I count on him to play extra of a task within the offense in his second season, plus the Ravens added one more working again this yr who may find yourself being the most effective on roster.

Baltimore chosen J.Okay. Dobbins within the second spherical of the 2020 NFL Draft, and he was thought-about one of many high working backs on this class. He rushed for two,003 yards and 21 touchdowns in his junior season at Ohio State, and racked up a complete of 4,459 speeding yards and 38 touchdowns throughout his time in Columbus. Put merely, essentially the most dynamic backfield bought much more dynamic this offseason, and it is one thing that’s once more going to profit this workforce.

Simply because the NFL is turning into extra of a passing league does not imply that abiding by the brand new norm will robotically carry success. The Ravens’ established tempo with their run recreation and had been additionally unstoppable when working out the clock with an enormous lead. It is fairly unimaginable that Jackson and the Ravens’ high three working backs all averaged 3.9 yards per carry or extra. The pistol formation they so usually utilized in 2019 gave working backs the power to run downfield and likewise made the choice even more durable to cease. John Harbaugh noticed how nicely misdirection, jet movement and screens labored on this offense, and it’s best to count on to see much more in 2020. The Ravens will once more have the most effective speeding offense within the NFL, and it is going to be a motive they end the job with a Tremendous Bowl victory this upcoming season.

2. Schedule and new playoff format

Earlier this offseason, CBS Sports activities NFL author John Breech broke down the 2020 power of schedule for all 32 NFL groups based mostly on mixed opponent successful share in 2019. Utilizing that methodology, the Ravens will supposedly face the simplest power of schedule in 2020. Even when basing the power of schedule on the over/below win totals for every workforce’s opponents throughout the 2020 season at William Hill Sportsbook, the Ravens go from going through the simplest schedule within the league to going through the third-easiest schedule. To place it merely, the Ravens’ schedule shouldn’t be extremely tough this yr.

Out of Baltimore’s 13 opponents, solely 5 of them made the playoffs final season. A kind of groups is the New England Patriots, who not have Tom Brady, and one other is the Titans, who you realize the Ravens are extra motivated than ever to beat after final yr’s loss. This units up the Ravens to have an excellent probability not solely to win their division, however to additionally safe the highest seed within the AFC. That has now turn into extra vital than ever with the league’s new playoff format.

In 2020, every convention will add one other wildcard spot, which suggests a complete of 14 groups will make the postseason. So as to compensate for this, solely two groups (one from every convention) will safe a first-round bye. That bye did not precisely assist the Ravens final season, however buying it must be extra vital than ever in 2020, and the Ravens have an excellent shot at repeating as the most effective regular-season workforce within the AFC.

3. Historical past repeats itself

I do know Ravens followers do not wish to hear comparisons to the opposite AFC juggernaut within the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, however there’s something that is onerous to miss heading into this season. In Patrick Mahomes’ first full yr because the beginning quarterback of the Chiefs, he received MVP. The Chiefs did lose to the Patriots within the playoffs, however it was nonetheless a fairly magical season. The next yr, the Chiefs went all the best way and Mahomes received Tremendous Bowl MVP. In Jackson’s first full yr as a starter (2019), he received MVP. The Ravens misplaced to the Titans within the playoffs, however it was nonetheless a fairly magical season. You see the place I am going with this?

I predict that historical past will repeat itself and Jackson will take the Ravens to the Tremendous Bowl and win Tremendous Bowl MVP. In truth, the final two regular-season MVP’s earlier than Jackson received the Tremendous Bowl the next yr. Mahomes and Jackson are two of essentially the most proficient gamers within the NFL, and whereas they might concentrate on totally different areas, there are many similarities between the 2. Jackson will comply with Mahomes’ lead and take Baltimore all the best way in 2020. 

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