What Can We Expect From The Ravens Moving Forward This Season?
The Ravens are arguably the league’s most dangerous team in the NFL through Week 10. And that might be difficult for some to wrap their minds around given the blown early season leads. But given the nature of an NFL season, the ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys, the season’s journey isn’t about the here and now. It’s more about the destination. It’s more about which team is best prepared to go the distance.
We can all lament the blown leads. We can all wonder aloud, “What if?” We can all make the argument that with a few better choices, the Ravens could be (9-0). But none of that will make the Ravens any better. The team has to figure out the takeaways – what can they learn from those bitter losses and use to their advantage to become a better team?
That story is unfolding before us. How it ends is anyone’s guess but make no mistake about it, the Ravens are trending in the right direction and the desired destination is locked in on the team’s GPS.
At (6-3) the Ravens are a game up on AFC North rival the Bengals, a team they beat earlier this season. The remainder of the Ravens schedule consists of teams with a combined (27-48, .360) as of today and only one team with a winning record. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s defense seems to be coming together, allowing just 18 points per game over the last three contests. The Ravens have added All Pro linebacker Roquan Smith; Tyus Bowser has returned to the lineup while David Ojabo is likely to be a go as soon as this weekend against the Panthers. Marcus Williams, who got off to a fast start in 2022, is expected back by December.
On offense, after a couple of games during which his production was limited due to injury, Mark Andrews will return along with Gus Edwards. Additional reinforcements will arrive in the forms of J.K. Dobbins and promising rookie tight end Charlie Kolar. And there are few who would argue that Lamar Jackson’s best days of the 2022 season await.
Just take care of business, one game at a time, continue to refine and grow as a team, play their best football in December and January, and that ultimate prize is attainable for the Ravens – emphasis upon the one game at a time.
So how will it go down?
My colleagues here at RSR have already shared their Bold Predictions for the balance of the season. I used the bye weekend for a quick getaway and missed the opportunity to join in with my predictions. So without further ado (or should I say further review?), here are my Bold Predictions for the final 8 games of the 2022 regular season.
• Lamar Jackson finishes the season with 3,600 yards passing, 30 TD’s, 10 INT’s. 1,175 yards rushing and a few more broken ankles with another Houdini moment.
• As a team, the Ravens will break through the 3,000 yard rushing barrier.
• The leading receiver (not named Mark Andrews) for the Ravens will be Demarcus Robinson who will average 55 yards per game for the balance of the regular season.
• DeSean Jackson will flash at times and show the world that he still has the ability to get it done. He just will struggle with availability and it will limit his production to under 250 yards receiving to go with 2 scores, both from 40+ yards out.
• Justin Houston’s sack pace will slow but he’ll still finish with 12 sacks.
• As a team the Ravens will pick up the sack pace (currently 3 per game) and tally 58 on the season. Of the 31 additional sacks registered in the final 8 games, Odafe Oweh and Jason Pierre-Paul will lead the way with 4 each.
• Marcus Peters will make a strong push in his final games under his current contract to persuade Eric DeCosta to re-sign the soon to be 30-year-old veteran. He’ll have two INT’s in December, one of which will be a pick-6 at the expense of the Steelers Kenny Pickett.
• The Ravens finish the season (12-5). They’ll lose the last game of the season in Cincinnati, a game that won’t affect their seeding in the postseason but will put the Bengals into the dance. The Ravens will also drop a game no one expects them to lose.
Playoffs start with a home game at The Bank against the Bengals.