This offseason, the Baltimore Ravens invested plenty of money and time into helping along their offense, and so far, the results have been pretty good.
The team’s rushing attack looks like it is in good hands, and the defense can be expected to remain elite as it usually is. That only leaves the passing attack as well as Lamar Jackson as the variables in the balance for the Ravens this coming season.
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Recently, Bleacher Report and writer Kristopher Knox took a look at the biggest storylines from every team in the league. For the Ravens, he thinks Jackson’s ability to have a consistent passing game could become a big deal.
“Lamar Jackson is the most dangerous dual-threat quarterback in the NFL. A unanimous MVP in 2019, the speedy gunslinger took a step back statistically in 2020 but nevertheless led the Baltimore Ravens to the postseason.
Jackson could be even better in 2021 because Baltimore finally addressed a receiving corps that has been lackluster during Jackson’s tenure. Mark Andrews is a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end, and Marquise Goodwin is a nice complementary deep threat, but Jackson has lacked high-end options on the perimeter.
This should no longer be an issue with Sammy Watkins and rookie first-round pick Rashod Bateman in the fold—fourth-round pick Tylan Wallace may contribute as well. Bateman has the potential to be the No. 1 receiver Jackson has sorely lacked.
Jackson’s ability to chew up yards with his legs isn’t going anywhere. With the Ravens committed to upgrading the receiver room, Jackson may take another step forward as a passer. That’s a frightening possibility for defensive coordinators around the league.”
All offseason, it has seemed if the Ravens could just get Jackson going it would represent a huge win for the franchise. Once the season gets underway, it will be fascinating to see if that ends up being the case at all.
Ravens Passing Offense Called ‘Upgraded’
Following the conclusion of the draft, Pro Football Focus took a look at some of the roster spots across the league that were improved in big ways. Baltimore’s X receiver spot was named by Pro Football Focus as one of the most improved position groups in the NFL. Writer Seth Galina was impressed by not only the players they added, but their fit with the team.
“The Ravens’ biggest need in the draft was a true outside receiver who could win one-on-one battles and keep defenses honest. NFL defenses did not care about who they put on the outside last season, choosing to instead allocate an enormous amount of resources to stopping the slot receivers, tight ends and run game.
Throwing to outside receivers was wasteful last season in Baltimore. They were a bottom-quarter team in both yards per route run and contested-catch percentage for players lined up outside. In comes free agent signing Sammy Watkins, first-round pick Rashod Bateman and fourth-round pick Tylan Wallace. Seeing Bateman fall to Baltimore at Pick 27 represents incredible value. He’s a top-20 talent. Wallace provides some insurance later in the draft at a similar position.”
This is the kind of new-look offense that could really help a team like Baltimore to take off, and getting Jackson going with the arm is a huge goal of the staff.
Why Jackson’s Passing Matters to Ravens
The Ravens already have one of the most dangerous rushing attacks in the league which has set numerous records, including most rushing yards by a team in a season a few years back. Jackson himself is one of the most dangerous runners in the league, but none of this matters if the team cannot field a passing attack which threatens anybody downfield. This is why the team invested so heavily in these elements for the 2021 season and beyond.
If the Ravens have indeed helped Jackson out and are all-in on him as a passer, that would be very good news for the team.
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