Last week I pissed everyone off with my negative narrative.
I feel like it bears repeating that I don’t personally subscribe to that collective pile of pessimism; it’s merely taking the worst of the worst ‘everything is awful’ and ‘this is fine’ fan theories, and creating one giant dumpster fire of a hot take.
Alas, my plea will fall upon deaf ears, and I’ll have pitchforks headed my way, which is really just ‘same story, different blog’ for my hot take central…
And that’s fine by me!
But I figured I’d take the opposite approach today to put a little pep in your Monday step, and start the week with some optimism.
That’s right folks: Adam is trying on optimism to see how it fits.
Without further… ado? Adieu? A-do? Ah to hell with it! LETS GOOOOO!
Lamar takes a LEAP!
All of that offseason work will pay off in LJ’s second year, as the soph QB completes 60+% of his passes, and limits his fumbles to… let’s call it four on the season. And yes, that means a 16-game regular season, not four in two games then he gets hurt, ya jackass.
Limiting mistakes is key to a drastic improvement for the offense, and Jackson does just that.
The 3-headed backfield monster!
Justice Hill gets his own hype train to follow Gus the Bus and Mark Ingram, as the backfield trio becomes a dominant force for opposing defenses to reckon with.
Or try to reckon.
More like wreck ’em, amirite?
A Round 1 WR Finally Pans Out!
Hollywood Brown had medical rechecks during the draft process which prompted many sources to indicate positive news on his Lisfranc recovery, along with an abbreviated timeline that would have Brown set to go for camp.
Not only does he come to camp fully healthy and work his way up the WR ranks, but finds himself starting Week 1, and never looks back.
How does 60/850/6 sounds for the rookie? You may be underwhelmed given his draft slot, but that would smoke what first rounders Breshad Perriman and Mark Clayton did in their rookie seasons, and in a run-first offense? Those numbers would be phenomenal for the Ravens rookie.
The O-Line Dominates!
Matt Skura channels his inner Ryan Jensen and takes a massive step in his progression at center, Ben Powers steps into the starting Left Guard slot after crushing the souls of his competition during camp, and the Ravens go into Week 1 with a line of Stanley-Powers-Skura-Yanda-Brown Jr.
Those concerns we had from the playoff loss to the Chargers turn out to be extremely overblown, and the Ravens line becomes a well-oiled machine that keeps Jackson clean in the pocket, and gives the run game all the time/space they could ask for.
The biggest concern in losing C.J. Mosley in the middle of the defense was pass coverage… just kidding it was leadership. Both Peanut Onwausor and Kenny Young are capable interior linebackers in Wink’s scheme, but that leadership void looms large… except the Ravens have leaders on D in Jimmy Smith, Tony Jefferson, Dr Marvin Humphrey (if you don’t get it, ask Matt Judon), and Anthony Levine. Throughout the season, Peanut develops into a future leader of the D as well, leading to a new contract in 2020.
Oh, and this leader…
ET, Welcome Home!
Baltimore further solidifies itself as home of the HOF Safeties, as Earl Thomas follows in the footsteps of Eric Weddle before him, and GOAT Ed Reed for the previous decade-plus.
Thomas not only stays healthy following two freak accidents in prior years (joint injuries and concussion are the recurring ones to worry about, but ET had two freak leg breaks), returns to First-Team All Pro Form, and helps propel the Ravens secondary (NOT the Browns, despite what those deranged fans seem to think) to the best unit in the NFL.
Harbs Isn’t Awful!
In this dream scenario, I’m just flat out wrong about Harbs and his roster management, in-game adjustments, coordinator selection, etc.
Yea, that’s a back-handed shot. Deal with it.
But also, if I’m proven to be wrong? Consider this validation that I will eat crow and own my wrong (unlike my A.J. Green rant- I’m still right there).
They Can’t Be Stopped!
Greg Roman’s offensive scheme finally has the right chess pieces (unlike his time in Buffalo and, for the better part, San Fran) and his unit constantly has teams on their heels. Marty Morhinweg’s predictability is long gone, and teams struggle with game planning for this Ravens offense now that LJ improved his passing game, along with a better backfield, upgraded O-Line, and much better receivers.
Wink’s defense was already a top unit, but upgrading at free safety with Thomas provides a massive leap in what he’s able to do. Pass rush concerns be damned, the NFL’s top secondary gives their front seven time to get home, and we’ll be happy to see more turnovers in 2019.
Another AFC North title sounds great.
How about a trip to the AFC Championship game?
What if they take it just one step further…