The Baltimore Ravens went 14-2 by being the most unique team in the NFL and they have to stay true to their style of football.
The Baltimore Ravens fanbase enjoyed the 2019 regular season more than any other regular season. Fans seemed to agree, this was the most entertaining team in the league. One thing that you may have heard a lot this year is that other teams seem less exciting than the Ravens. It’s because the 2019 Ravens put on a show unlike anything anyone has ever seen.
The Ravens destroyed teams on a weekly basis. The Ravens started the season with a 59-10 win against the Miami Dolphins. They beat the New England Patriots 37-20, the Houston Texans 41-7 and the Seattle Seahawks 30-16. The season didn’t end the way the Ravens faithful had hoped. It was still an incredible season where Baltimore had the best football.
They did it unlike any team has ever done it. Their quarterback, Lamar Jackson, ran for more yards than any quarterback ever had in a season. The Ravens rushed for more yards than any team in NFL history. Sounds like a ground and pound team, right? Well Jackson led the NFL in touchdown passes and the Ravens were one of the most dynamic offensive attacks in football.
The NFL had seen runners at the quarterback position before. Michael Vick was an incredible athlete with a rocket arm. Yet, the NFL had never seen a team wrap an innovative offense around a player like Lamar Jackson. The fact of the matter is that if you put any other quarterback in that offense it wouldn’t work.
Jackson made an offense based off the run work. His best receivers were three tight ends and a rookie wide receiver. There is not one quarterback in the NFL that could do what Jackson did with this group. There isn’t one. Whether or not he is the best quarterback in the league, he was the best possible player for Greg Roman’s offense. Jackson made it work.
So the Ravens have to keep their identity going into the next season. They have to keep their awesome mix of run and pass that keeps people guessing and keeps them in comfortable situations. They need to keep being aggressive, and going for it on fourth downs when the analytics are on their side. Do the Ravens have to keep adapting and getting better? Yes. The biggest mistake they could make though, is reinventing the wheel.
If the Ravens add talent to at the play-making positions of the offense, and stay true to who they are, they will once again be hard to stop. The Ravens will continue to be the hardest team in the NFL to prepare for. It’s also important to remember that this was the first full season as a starter for Lamar Jackson. That means that this was the only season that this revolutionary offense was deployed. It’s going to grow up with Jackson. It’s going to grow up with Marquise Brown, Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst.
The Ravens lost the playoff game in part because they panicked and got away from who they were. They played the game the Titans wanted them to play. Can you imagine what could have happened if John Harbaugh and company took a deep breath and played the game Tennessee didn’t want to see?
The Ravens must build on what they did last year. They cannot let the setback against the Titans control or change their thinking. If the Ravens build on what already worked to the tune of 14 wins, they will be a contender once again in the 2020 NFL season.