2021 Record: 8-9 4th AFC North
2022 Win Total: 9.5
Over 9.5 -155
Under 9.5 +125
Yards Per play: 18th 5.4
Yards per pass attempt: 18th 7.0
Offensive QB Sack percentage: 29th 8.53%
Yards per run: 6th 4.8
3rd down conversion rate: 25th 36.44%
Turnover Margin: 28th -0.6
Yards Per Play allowed: 32nd 6.0
Yards per pass attempt allowed: 31st 7.6
Yards allowed per rush: 3rd 3.8
Defensive QB sack rate: 28th 5.19%
Notable losses: Marquise Brown WR, Devonta Freeman RB, Latavius Murray RB, Le’Veon Bell RB
Notable additions: Mike Davis RB, Marcus Williams S
1st Round Draft Pick(s): Kyle Hhamilton S Notre Dame
Strength of schedule: 11th (1 Easiest, 32 Hardest)
The Ravens had one of the worst injury seasons in recent memory. Baltimore lost both of their starting and backup running backs due to ACL tears. Not great for a team that is a run first offense. Then they lost former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson for six games of the season including the final five games in which the Ravens lost all five. To cap it off, the Ravens’ injury woes spread to the secondary, where the Ravens ended up playing nine cornerbacks for the season. The result was a team that finished last in its division while losing six of eight games by six points or less.
Baltimore will instantly get better just by having Lamar, JK Dobbins, and Gus Edwards back on the field. The problem is that the Ravens got worse at receiver by trading away Marquise Brown. Instead Lamar will have to establish one of Rashod Bateman, James Proche II, or Devin Duvernay. Perhaps Mark Andrews will see a career high target share given his connection with Jackson. The other issue the Ravens have will be on the offensive line. Given the Ravens intend to run the ball often, it’s concerning to see them 18th in yards per run and 29th in QB sack percentage. Perhaps that can be explained by the injuries to the running backs and quarterback, but still something to keep an eye on. On paper, the Ravens have some question marks on the offensive line. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley has missed 28 of the last 29 games due to an ankle injury. Left guard Tyre Phillips is only on his 3rd season. Rookie Tyler Linderbaum is projected to start at center. Right guard Kevin Zeitler is on his 4th team of his career, and only 2nd season with the Ravens. Right tackle Morgan Moses is on his 3rd team and only lasted two seasons with the Jets. With so many journeymen and young players on the line, I’m skeptical the Ravens will have the offensive line needed to move the ball. With how many moving pieces Baltimore has coming in and out this season, it’s fair to wonder if this offense struggles early on and potentially deeper into the season. Perhaps MVP Lamar Jackson can simply make up for all of it?
Let’s start where the Ravens were awful last season which was in the secondary. Marcus Peters returns from an ACL tear that caused him to miss the entire 2021 season. Assuming Peters is a full go, that along with 1st round draft pick Kyle Hamilton will instantly improve the league’s 2nd worst secondary. The Ravens also added Marcus Williams who should also be an instant upgrade. Now let’s turn our attention to another area the Ravens were weak at which was pass rush. Of the projected eleven players on defense just Tyus Bowser, Michael Pierce, and Odafe Oweh recorded 3 or more sacks last season. The Ravens will either need to seek additional help in the trade market, free agency, or else they are due for another poor season in that stat category. Perhaps someone like Calais Campbell can contribute more this season than last. Campbell has recorded 10.5 and 14.5 sacks in previous seasons but recorded only 1.5 sacks in 15 games last year. I’m not confident this defense got any better up front, but at least the secondary should be closer to average this year.
The Ravens have a favorable schedule this season and play just 3 non divisional opponents that made the playoffs last season. If you take out the Steelers, who barely made the playoffs, the Ravens games against 2021 playoff teams include: Patriots-away, Bills-home, Bucs-away, Bengals-home, Bengals-away. They have easy games against the Jets-away, Giants-away, Panthers-home, Jags-away, Steelers (x2). This comes down to if you believe the Ravens can overcome the question marks they have at several positions. Baltimore is one of the best organizations in the NFL and uses data and analytics for many decisions. I’m confident they will find a way to overcome some of the issues I foresee coming, and they have a favorable schedule to succeed under those circumstances. I like over 9.5 wins but would wait for some news on Deshaun Watson to see if you can get a better price than -155. If Watson is able to play both games against the Ravens, this number likely moves slightly.