Analysis

Sports Info Solutions: Baltimore Ravens Team Preview

Ravens Team Preview

Through Week 12 of the 2021 campaign, the Baltimore Ravens sat atop the AFC Standings with an 8-3 record. This was achieved despite their missing J.K. Dobbins, Marcus Peters and Ronnie Stanley, who were all lost for the season due to injury by Week 1. 

In Week 13, the Ravens were beating the Steelers 10-3 going into the 4th quarter. But the Ravens were unable to protect the lead and yielded 17 points to the Steelers in the quarter. 

After the Ravens scored the presumed game-tying TD with 12 seconds left, Head Coach John Harbaugh decided to go for the two-point conversion and the win. This attempt failed with a pass that floated just out of the grasp of Mark Andrews and the Ravens lost 20-19.

The following week, Lamar Jackson suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. With Tyler Huntley and Josh Johnson starting at QB the rest of the way, the Ravens were unable to win another game and finished the season 8-9.

The Passing Game is the Key

The Ravens are back with a chip on their shoulder to prove they have the talent and firepower to contend in the AFC when at full strength.

Offensively, the Ravens will look to continue to build on the success of their passing offense from last year before Jackson was injured. Before his injury, Jackson averaged 240 yards per game and 7.5 yards per attempt, good for the highest and second-highest averages of his career.

With Marquise Brown now in Arizona, the Ravens will look to 2021 first-round selection Rashod Bateman to be WR1. Coming off a groin injury to start the year, Bateman was only able to produce 1.3 yards per route run and -0.01 EPA per target, good for 110th and 106th among receivers with at least 50 targets. He will need to take a significant step forward in becoming the go-to wide receiver for this offense.

Rashod Bateman Key 2021 Stats

Statistic Total Rank
Yards Per Route Run 1.3 110th
EPA per Target -0.01 106th

The return of Ronnie Stanley and the additions of Morgan Moses via free agency, and Tyler Linderbaum via the draft will help an offensive line that ranked 16th in Pass Block Total Points with 83 in 2021. The Ravens already ranked fourth in Run Block Total Points, meaning these additions could make this unit a real strength again.

Defensively, the returns of Peters and Marlon Humphrey should stabilize a secondary decimated by the end of last season. Before his injury in Week 13, Humphrey was fourth in Pass Coverage Total Points among players who were targeted at least 50 times. The Ravens also added safety Kyle Hamilton in the first round of the Draft, as well as Marcus Williams and Kyle Fuller via Free Agency to bolster the secondary.

According to the Total Points Team Strength Model from SIS, the Ravens have the fourth-easiest projected strength of schedule. With the potential for positive injury regression and a light schedule, the ceiling for the Ravens looks to be very high for a potential run at the Super Bowl.

James Weaver contributed to this report. 

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