Baltimore Ravens: The keys to this breakout season
The Baltimore Ravens have become one of the best teams in the NFL. Here is a look at the keys to their breakout season:
This 2019 Baltimore Ravens team has been nothing short of phenomenal to watch as of late. They have absolutely beat the brakes off of some of the NFL’s top teams (and quarterbacks) during this six game win streak. Lamar Jackson and these Ravens have now added Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans to their list with this blowout victory. I don’t think anybody truly expected Baltimore to win in this fashion, however when you look at the game tape this was simply a dominant Ravens performance.
The Houston Texans, under Head Coach Bill O’Brien, had won four out of five away games coming out of their bye week. That impressive statistic, however, was not enough to power the Texans past this red hot Ravens team. This is a group of guys that have truly been growing with each other and getting better on a weekly basis. These Baltimore Ravens had been put to the test immediately with injuries and personnel issues, nevertheless, this team has relied on raw resilience since they were established in 1996.
The success of this team all starts in the front office and coaching staff. Offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, is proving to truly be a mastermind when it comes to implementing these creative schemes. Whether he is using Lamar Jackson in the run-pass-option, putting three tight ends on the field at once, or even utilizing Robert Griffin III in the “Heisman Package,” Roman’s play calls have been nothing short of brilliant thus far.
John Harbaugh has exhibited his unparalleled communication and team bonding skills onto another level this season. His ability to relate with his players and speak to them with such respect and admiration is what makes him such a great player’s coach. The coach’s rapport with his quarterback is possibly the most important connection on the field. Harbaugh’s relationship with Lamar Jackson is so great already and is only getting started.
On the other end, defensive coordinator, Don “Wink” Martindale, has been blitzing like a madman. Why not blitz when your have the pieces this team has in the secondary. General manager, Eric DeCosta, has been consistently bringing in new talent all season. He added serious depth at cornerback with Marcus Peters and bulked up the pressure upfront with free agent signings Josh Bynes, LJ Fort, and now Domata Peko and Justin Ellis. These players, have been making serious impacts on opposing offenses. Baltimore is now in contention to be the top defense for the first time this season.
These new additions seem to mesh very smoothly with the players who were here during training camp. Marlon Humphrey seems to be playing with the most confidence he has ever had, along with Matthew Judon applying serious pressure and getting the recognition he deserves. Brandon Williams, who got his first sack on the season against Houston, continues to be a one man wrecking ball as a run-stopper. Some young guys who have impressed are rookie, Jaylon Ferguson and three year veteran Chuck Clark. Ferguson has been taking advantage of his new-found opportunity with big plays in the run game, he even registered his first career sack against Deshaun Watson. Chuck Clark, the green dot on defense, has been playing with all heart racking up tackles, batting down balls, and taking on this leadership position head-on.