submitted by Michael Hickey
Folks, the 2019 Baltimore Ravens season has arrived!
Faded are the memories from the playoff loss to the Chargers. Free agency, the draft, training camp, and the preseason have come and gone. All the predictions and opinions are out the window. It’s time to just play the games!
As we flip the page to the upcoming season, we as fans also enter a new era, one with many young, and talented unknowns. Joe Flacco will be quarterbacking the Denver Broncos and Terrell Suggs will be wearing an Arizona Cardinals jersey. C.J. Mosley will be trying to make the Jets relevant again while hoping to topple Tom Brady’s reign of the AFC East.
Here in Baltimore there’s a different buzz around town. This is officially Lamar Jacksons’s team. Eric DeCosta has done an excellent job addressing team needs, while at the same time setting up the team for the future. In 2020 the team will have plenty of draft picks, salary cap space, and young guys entering their 2nd and 3rd years.
But, we are not here to talk about the future….
The signings of guys like Earl Thomas III and Mark Ingram show this team isn’t “rebuilding” or whatever the Dolphins call it. They added veteran guys who make this team better because they – as always – feel like they can win now. In addition to Thomas and Ingram the Ravens are seeing growth in young players from the 2017 and 2018 drafts.
A big concern entering the season is the pass rush. Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams both showed promise getting pressure throughout the preseason. Mark Andrews, Hayden Hurst, and Jaleel Scott look like they’ve taken the next step. Also keep an eye out for DeShon Elliott. He will force Wink to find ways to get him onto the field. Add in the rookies and they have a roster full of guys who could become the next great Ravens player. This is the type of Ravens team you don’t sleep on.
I’d like to end with a last minute prediction. The Ravens go to Miami and start the season 1-0. These are two teams heading in totally different directions. Look for the Ravens to jump out to an early lead and not reveal too much in their rebuilt offense. The secondary is as advertised and the edge rushers overwhelm an inexperienced offensive line.
My pick to click is Lamar Jackson because why not?