Ravens Set For Bounce-Back Year in 2022

Lamar Jackson's growth, and team health are keys to going over win total

The Baltimore Ravens just don't get enough credit for what they were able to accomplish last year. After a plague of injuries that was so severe before the season even started, plenty of people were willing to write them off before Week 1. Yes, they finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time in three years. Let's be honest, though, winning eight games when they saw names like Marcus Peters, Ronnie Stanley, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Marlon Humphrey, L.J. Fort, Derek Wolfe, DeShon Elliott, among others missing either the season or significant time is still a major accomplishment.

This could be a big bounce-back year for Baltimore, as long as of course, whoever had that voodoo doll decided to move on to a different team for this coming season.

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Back on Top?

With their win total set at 9.5, the Ravens play in one of the tougher divisions in football but are still the favorites to win the AFC North (+179 consensus). Even with the potential surrounding everyone else after Baltimore, there's also still a ton of questions around the other three teams in the standings. The Bengals need to show they were more than a fluke last year; the Browns don't know what the NFL will do about Deshaun Watson yet; and the Steelers have entered the post-Big Ben era.

All have the potential to be winning teams, but there's a significant boom-or-bust for all three, which bodes well for the Ravens.

Let's also not forget they're playing a last-place schedule that includes the NFC South and AFC East, and they'll see teams like the Giants, Jags, Panthers, and Falcons, which should help pad them towards ten wins when it's all said and done.

Lamar Jackson's contract situation aside, this team has had Super Bowl aspirations dating back to his MVP season in 2019. As with really every team in the NFL, their season rests on quarterback play first and foremost. At this point it's clear the Ravens just want to double down on what they do best, running the ball like an old-school NFL team, and letting Jackson just be himself. There's even a chance this team comes away with two 1,000-yard rushers in 2022.

The real issue here is the balance of the highs and lows with Jackson. Finding more consistency in the passing game will be key to him, and the rest of this offense having a successful season. Jackson has unique gifts both with his arm and his legs, but at times, as with most elite runners at the position, it's easy to lean on the quick run away from trouble. If he can find that balance, the rest of the league is in trouble.

The talent and coaching are there though in Baltimore, and as long as they can stay healthy, hitting the over on their win total is more than likely, with another division title coming as well.