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2021 NFL Team Preview: Baltimore Ravens

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2020 was a bit of a disappointment for the Baltimore Ravens. Sure, they did end up making the playoffs and Lamar Jackson did win his first-ever playoff game but Baltimore fans expect Super Bowl or bust. The Ravens added some key pieces in the draft that should help them improve in 2021.

The AFC North is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. Baltimore will have to contend with Pittsburgh and Cleveland for the top spot this year. The Ravens have the definite coaching edge, however, as John Harbaugh is one of the best in the game.

2021 Offense

Lamar Jackson had a decent 2020 campaign but his overall stat line dipped a bit from his 2019 MVP season. The former Heisman Trophy winner threw 26 touchdowns to go along with only nine picks last year. The 6-2 212 pound playmaker continued to terrorize defenses on the ground as well by rushing for over 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns.

Running back J.K. Dobbins had a productive season as a rookie in 2020 (Ourlads.com). The former Ohio State superstar averaged six yards per carry and found the end zone nine times. The crazy thing is that Dobbins only started one game last season! Expect the 22-year old to play a more prominent role in the offense in 2021.

The Ravens wide receiving corps has some talent but they’ve yet to reach a consistent level of production. Bringing in Rashod Bateman from Minnesota as a first-round draft pick should help this offense tremendously. Bateman is a big, physical target at 6-1 and 210 pounds and Jackson should love throwing the ball to him.

John Harbaugh also brought in Sammy Watkins from the Chiefs to further add to the depth at wideout. Watkins has a ton of speed but was often overlooked in Kansas City’s crowded offense.

2021 Defense

Baltimore seems to have a stingy defense every season, which is a testament to how well they draft defensive players. Last year, the Ravens defense ranked second in the league in points per game allowed and seventh in the league in yards allowed per game. This year’s defense should again be stacked with solid players like Calais Campbell, Pernell McPhee, and Derek Wolfe rushing the passer and stuffing the run.

Patrick Queen is a beast at linebacker and first-round draft pick Odafe Oweh from Penn State should help pressure the quarterback as well. The Ravens’ secondary should again be one of the best in the league with top-notch corners Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters shutting down receivers.

2021 Special Teams

Justin Tucker has been one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL since his rookie year in 2012. The former Texas Longhorn star made 26 out of his 29 field goal attempts last season. Veteran punter Sam Koch returns for his 16th season as a Raven in 2021. Koch averaged 44.5 yards per punt last year.

Wideout Devin Duvernay will handle the majority of punt and kick returns for Baltimore. Duvernay had 578 kick return yards and one touchdown in 2020.

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