3 things the Baltimore Ravens are banking on this year
The Baltimore Ravens had a productive offseason but here are three things they just have to believe in going into the season:
Ian Schultz wrote an earlier post about the Baltimore Ravens top concerns. The concerns are important to focus on, but today let’s take a look from a different perspective. Let’s look at the positive projections of Eric DeCosta and John Harbaugh going into the season. This is what the Ravens are banking on and why they are doing it.
1. Marquise Brown will be a true number one receiver:
The Baltimore Ravens did a lot this offseason. One thing they didn’t do was add a veteran wide receiver to the offense. Marquise Brown is the Ravens number one receiver. In an injury aggravated rookie season, Brown had 46 receptions for 584 yards and seven touchdowns. The Ravens are banking on Brown being a true number one wide receiver, and that will set up the proper situation for the offense.
The Ravens are asking a lot of Brown in his second season. Not only does he need to show he can keep the injury bug away from him, but he almost needs to double his production. 584 yards has to turn into over 1,000 yards. Seven touchdowns has to turn into 10-14 touchdowns. 46 receptions must be more like 75. For the Ravens experiment at the wide receiver position to work, they need Brown to be their version of Tyreek Hill. Brown can’t just have another year of flashy plays here and there. He has to be a go to weapon. It’s not just about him, it’s about the entire offense.
If Brown becomes a go to weapon for Lamar Jackson, with that kind of speed, it changes things for opposing defenses. Brown was the number one receiver last year, but he wasn’t a true number one target. Remember when Joe Flacco was going to throw it to Anquan Boldin and everyone in the stadium knew it, but it worked anyway. That’s what Brown needs to be for Jackson. Right now, defensive coordinators are aware of what Brown can do. This time next year, they need to be completely afraid of Brown’s presence on the field. That’s what a true number one receiver is.
If Brown is getting that kind of attention, and making plays anyway, the Ravens have defenses right where they want them. Then Devin Duvernay has room to work out of the slot. Then all the sudden Miles Boykin can start taking advantage of his speed and size, going against the second best cornerback on the opposing defense. Then Mark Andrews is even more dangerous at the tight end position. There is only one way for the passing game to take the next step. It’s all about number 15.