Three Baltimore Ravens who could disappoint in 2019
By Ian Schultz
With the Baltimore Ravens 2019 season fast approaching, here are three players who could disappoint.
The Baltimore Ravens are into their 2019 OTA sessions and the NFL preseason kicks off in just over 70 days or so. Baltimore will be looking to defend its AFC North Division crown and there are some players that will have increased expectations heading into the upcoming season.
The Ravens will find themselves back at the top of the AFC North if the three players mentioned below perform to the expected and necessary levels. However, I expect that these three players could be disappointing in the 2019 season.
Let’s start with the Ravens starting QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson will be entering his first full season as the QB1 of Baltimore and expectations for the second-year man out of Louisville are extremely high. The performance of the former first round pick is the most important barometer in predicting how the Ravens will do next season.
Jackson went 6-1 in the regular season as a starter before the Ravens fell to the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. During the regular season, Jackson passed for 1,201 yards completing 58.2% of his passes and adding six touchdowns and three interceptions. Jackson also added 695 yards on the ground and five touchdowns.
So what’s not to like? The first thing for me is Jackson’s reputation as a run-first type QB. The shelf life for those types of quarterbacks are limited in the NFL (See RGIII). If Jackson is banged up at any point throughout the season, it could derail the Ravens 2019 playoff hopes.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of Jackson’s game is his inability to hold onto the football. In his eight starts last season Jackson fumbled the ball an inexplicable 15 times. Not a believer in a one year trend? Jackson also coughed up 25 fumbles in 38 career collegiate games. If Jackson can’t clean up the fumbles, a disappointing season could be in order.
The final reason I think Jackson could disappoint in the 2019 season is his inaccuracy throwing the football. At times, it looks like a downright inability to throw the football effectively on a consistent basis. When the Ravens were pressed into throwing last season, things didn’t go particularly well for Jackson aside from his success against the Chargers prevent defense late in the playoff game loss.
The Chargers had seen Jackson a few week earlier and were able to stymie the Ravens rushing attack, forcing Jackson to try and beat them. Jackson responded by putting together quite possibly the worst QB performance in playoff history through three quarters. He should be commended for rallying the troops late, but I remain concerned for what the Ravens offense will look like when they HAVE to throw the ball.