The Baltimore Ravens were just eliminated from the playoffs, but that might not change their status as favorites for the 2021 Super Bowl.
A look at some very early odds was revealed by Caesars on Tuesday, and perhaps surprisingly, the Ravens were high on the list in spite of their frustrating finish to 2020. As a whole, the Ravens have the second best odds to take home the Lombardi Trophy at 7-1 a year from now.
Here’s a look at some of the early odds for next season:
At this point, of course, very little of this matters considering the current Super Bowl hasn’t even been decided, the offseason hasn’t taken place and neither has the draft. Little is known about what shape teams will take moving forward and what will play out next year in terms of injuries or other pitfalls that take place.
For now, though, Las Vegas isn’t exactly betting on the stench of failure hanging over the Ravens for very long.
Ravens Will Have to Overcome a Choke
Some folks don’t think the loss to the Tennessee Titans was that significant, but others think it was quite a big deal. One of those people can be counted as Peter Schrager of the NFL Network. On Monday’s episode of Good Morning Football, Schrager debated with his co-hosts about the severity of the loss and where it leaves Baltimore’s legacy after this season, and admitted he thinks this one will cut Baltimore deep for a long time to come.
“This is the most brutal loss a tam can have in franchise history, 14-2, you’re out by the divisional round and were embarrassed on your home field,” he said. “This is as big a gut punch. This is now just a forgettable team in NFL history. They didn’t even make it to the championship round.”
As for what the Ravens’ legacy is now following this failure to start off 2020, Schrager thinks the answer is quite obvious, and it’s not a great one for Baltimore fans.
“Their legacy is they couldn’t get it done. They couldn’t finish the job and when they needed to, they laid and all-time egg,” he said. “An absolutely brutal, destructive loss for a team that was so fun, that we were thinking was the future. This one is one that sits with you for decades. There were few teams in NFL history that were as fun and as fascinating as this. No one is going to remember Mark Andrews came into this one banged up. They’re going to remember they couldn’t get it done.”
Plenty on how 2020 is remembered will hinge on what happens later on this year, and then again in 2021 if the Ravens get back into the postseason to get another crack at ending their current losing streak in the playoffs.
Ravens Riding a Playoff Losing Streak
In order to become champions, the Ravens will have to end a long losing streak. Baltimore’s last victory in the playoffs came back in 2015, when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers before losing to the New England Patriots in the divisional round. Last season, the Ravens were wiped out of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Chargers in the first round. While Baltimore got a first round bye this season, they couldn’t get over the hump against the lower seeded Titans in their first game on the field.
The loss makes it three defeats in a row for the Ravens in the playoffs, and it’s something that the team is going to have to live down, especially considering how they entered the postseason.
In terms of teams in the AFC, the Ravens were the hottest squad coming in, given their 8-0 record. Only the 7-1 Kansas City Chiefs had a better mark. The Ravens also entered the playoffs with the best odds to win the Lombardi Trophy.
Momentum can mean everything or nothing at all in the playoffs, and in this case, it didn’t mean much. The Ravens might have had more rust to deal with having not used the bye week to their advantage.
As a result, they will have to wait another year to end a frustrating playoff losing streak and prove they should be favored when all is said and done.