The Baltimore Ravens have an offense that could be amongst the best in the NFL when the 2020 season begins, and that is just what former quarterback turned analyst Dan Orlovsky sees happening.
According to Orlovsky, the Ravens are going to have a top 5 offense this season with Lamar Jackson at the helm. As a whole, Orlovsky had the Ravens place in the No. 3 spot just behind the Kansas City Chiefs (No. 1) and the San Francisco 49ers (No. 2).
Obviously, the Ravens offense had a statistically dominating season in 2019 on the way to their 14-2 record, but the team’s offense fizzled in the playoffs, putting up only 12 points against the Tennessee Titans in their eventual defeat. As a whole, though, the team’s offense finished No. 1 in points scored with 531, had the best rushing attack in the league and may have only improved that further for next year.
When all is said and done, the Ravens might have the best offense in the league, but for now, Orlovsky sees a top 3 team heading into the year.
Changes to Ravens Offense Might Hurt
Changes to the offense, however, could be coming that put a bit more of a premium on throwing the ball with Lamar Jackson to take the burden off him running the football so much. Jackson, however, is special in the open field with his moves, so could this potential change backfire?
Entering into next season, that could be the biggest question the team has. Recently, Bleacher Report named the biggest risk heading into the season, and this offensive shift could be something to watch according to writer Kristopher Knox.
“Last season, Lamar Jackson led the Ravens to a 14-2 record while throwing for 3,127 yards and running for 1,206 more. His dual-threat ability routinely kept opposing defenses off balance, and the offense built around his multifaceted skill set became arguably the most indefensible in the league.
Now, the Ravens could be looking to switch up their offensive philosophy. The drafting of another running back in J.K. Dobbins and another speedy wideout in Devin Duvernay suggests that Baltimore will ask Jackson to throw more while leaving more of the ground work to the running backs.
This is a concept Jackson himself has suggested.
“I doubt if I’m going to be carrying the ball a lot going on in the future,” Jackson told reporters. “We’ve got dynamic running backs. We’re going to have even more receivers.”
A change in offensive philosophy for Baltimore could pay off in a big way, but it’s also risky because what the Ravens did last year worked marvelously.”
Baltimore’s offense last year operated nearly flawlessly minus a bad stint in the playoffs. It’s possible the team is looking to shift a bit in order to save the wear and tear on Jackson which certainly makes sense given how vital he is to the team.
Will doing it harm their offense, though? That is the next variable to watch.
Lamar Jackson One of PFF’s Top 50 Players
Recently, the site took a look at naming the top 50 players for the 2020 season, and Jackson checked in high on their list. Specifically, the quarterback checked in at No. 8 on the list. Perhaps surprisingly, Jackson was not higher and he actually placed below Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes.
Here’s what writer Sam Monson explained as to why:
“Though Russell Wilson had a higher PFF WAR figure than Lamar Jackson in 2019, Jackson was a very worthy NFL MVP. He is a unique talent who gives defenses nightmares as they work to contain both his passing threat and rushing ability, and he is the cornerstone that allows the Ravens to build a custom offense tailored to his talents. Jackson may well reinvent the quarterback position and, at the very minimum, will be one of the hardest players to limit as long as he continues to play at this level.”
Jackson could climb even higher on such lists in the future, and with another huge season with some playoff success mixed in, that would be the likely expectation for the reigning NFL MVP. Interestingly, the No. 1 overall player was defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Jackson will be at the helm for a team that could possibly have one of the best offenses at their disposal in football next season.