The Baltimore Ravens – can they win the Super Bowl?
Could the Ravens win the Super Bowl?
The Baltimore Ravens are looking to win their third Super Bowl, and their first since 2012.
The Ravens started the season as the bookies eighth favourites to take home 2024’s rings, but from 20/1 odds they have come in to 8/1, and are currently the bookies fourth favourites to win the Super Bowl in 2024.
The Ravens are certainly playing with the belief that this is their year – there’s no doubt about that – but can they pull it off?
Let’s start with the franchise guy – Lamar Jackson.
Lamar Jackson to Mark Andrews in the end zone!
— NFL (@NFL) October 1, 2023
Jackson and the Ravens had a bit of a stand-off this off-season. Jackson was reported to have requested a trade from the Ravens due to a difference in valuation of his services at quarterback.
But this April saw Jackson sign a $260 million, five-year contract extension, with a reported $185 million in guaranteed money heading the 2019 NFL MVPs way.
Now that we are in week 10, I’m sure that there are plenty of franchises that regret not paying up for Jackson’s services with the possibility of a second MVP award heading the versatile quarterback’s way.
Jackson can lead the Ravens to success.
Jackson is ranked 11th in QBR, has the 14th most passing yards in the league, and has by far the most rushing yards of any quarter back in the league with 440 across the season (second is Josh Dobbs with 324).
Most importantly of all though, is that Jackson has led Baltimore to four wins in a row and the Ravens are currently sitting with an impressive 7-2 record.
No one's more dangerous than Lamar Jackson after he activates his X-factor 😈 pic.twitter.com/PRJXmK19e7
— NFL (@NFL) October 3, 2023
Jackson’s running ability causes him to be an incredibly difficult quarterback to scheme against defensively and his passing ability has certainly improved this season, which adds an even greater threat to his and the Ravens’ game.
Jackson currently has the highest completion percentage (71.5%) and the second most passing yards per game (217) of his career across a season.
Even with Jackson leading the league in QB rushing yards and rushing yards per game, this season is set to be his second worst statistically in terms of ground game.
All of this points towards Jackson being a truly dominant rusher with possibly a lot more to come for the remainder of the season – coupled this with the fact that he has proved to be a more than competent passer, and Baltimore certainly have one of the league’s best on their hands.
Ravens offence gives them a great chance.
Moving on from Jackson, the Ravens have a strong all round offence this year.
They are leading the league in rushing yards per game, and are sixth in both total yards and points per game.
— NFL (@NFL) November 5, 2023
Running back Gus Edwards started this season in full health after missing the first six weeks of last season, and so far Edwards has had his second most productive season to date, adding 53 yards per game to Jackson’s 49.
The Ravens’ addition of Zay Flowers with their first round picks in the draft this off-season has also proved to be a good one thus far, with Flowers 6th among rookies in yards per game which adds some much needed receiver depth to the Ravens.
The acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr provides further league and play-off experience, as well as a very viable deep threat.
Adding to that dangerous receiving duo, the Ravens have their number one man in tight end Mark Andrews enjoying his second best season to date in terms of yards per game (59.6 yards), ranking him third among tight ends throughout the league.
While, the addition of former Super Bowl winner and veteran wide receiver Nelson Agholor over the off season may provide some much needed locker room and on field savvy if the Ravens are to make a Super Bowl run.
— NFL (@NFL) March 24, 2023
Now, to what may be the deciding factor in what really makes this Ravens team great – their defence.
The Ravens rank 2nd overall in defensive DVOA, and have allowed the second least total yards (262.6) and passing yards (170.7) per game in the league.
The defence as a whole unit are incredibly strong under defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. Safety Geno Stone is leading the league in interceptions with six takeaways already this season, and defensive lineman Justin Madubuike is having his best career to date with 7.5 sacks to his name already.
— NFL (@NFL) November 6, 2023
The Ravens have both the most sacks registered (35) and highest sack yardage (299) in the league this season, and are proving to be an unstoppable defensive force thus far.
The trio of former first round picks Jadeveon Clowney, Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen have registered a combined 8.5 sacks to contrubute to the Ravens defensive output, with Smith and Queen having 47 tackles each so far this season.
The signing of two time Super Bowl winning linebacker Kyle Van Noy three games into the season has also added another asset to this Ravens linebacker group, with Van Noy already registering five sacks on only seven tackles across six games.
— Nic Mason (@British_Raven19) November 5, 2023
The Ravens have beaten some tough opponents already this season – the highlights of which were the 30+ point victories against the in form Lions and Seahawks.
Both of these aforementioned wins came in the last three weeks and silenced a lot of the Ravens’ critics regarding their ability to defeat big opponents.
The two losses of the season were games which the Ravens should really have won based on the positions they managed to put themselves in – but these mistakes seemed to have been worked on and the Ravens look all the stronger for it.
The Ravens are set to face divisional rivals Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals in the next two weeks, who will both prove to be tough tests. Later in the season the Ravens also face the 49ers, Jaguars and Dolphins – all of whom lead their respective divisions.
The road ahead is certainly tough for the Ravens, but they are building up a nice run of form as the weeks go by and seem likely to reach the play-offs as leaders of the AFC North.
If the Ravens navigate the regular season road ahead, who and what can truly stop them on their way to the Super Bowl? It seems that any team that may face them in this year’s play-offs will face a monstrous challenge – but can they win it all?
My money is on yes, but only time will truly tell.