Baltimore Ravens: Top 5 concerns heading into 2020
3. Underrated worry for special teams:
When you think of the Ravens special teams you think of Morgan Cox, Sam Koch and the legendary Justin Tucker. These guys aren’t a concern. What is concerning is how the special teams units from a year ago seemed to make too many mistakes. The Ravens went 14-2 last season and special teams is the one area they could really point to as a weakness. The Ravens didn’t get much out of their punt returners in 2019. Cyrus Jones lost his job after a muffed punt against the New England Patriots. De’Anthony Thomas was just okay. The field position battle would get a lot easier with better returns.
When the Ravens played the Cincinnati Bengals last year, the Bengals didn’t stand a chance. The first battle seems a lot closer than it was when you look at the score of the game. That’s because the Ravens allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown at the beginning of the game. The Ravens won that game 23-17 and without that kickoff return it would have been a more compelling win at M&T Bank Stadium. The Jets game had multiple special teams errors that ultimately didn’t matter. The point here is that the purple and black need to clean things up in 2020.
The Ravens are a team that could realistically go 13-3. They are contenders. The number one thing that Super Bowl caliber teams don’t do is make unforced mistakes. If it hurt the team in terms of wins and losses, the performance of the kickoff team, the punt team and the punt return team wouldn’t be something largely forgotten. A special teams blunder could end up being the difference in being the top seed in the AFC playoffs or being the two or three seed. If the Ravens are as good as they are expected to be, they cannot beat themselves.