3 ways the Baltimore Ravens 2020 season could go up in smoke

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08: Marshal Yanda #73 of the Baltimore Ravens lines up against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08: Marshal Yanda #73 of the Baltimore Ravens lines up against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – JANUARY 11: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on during the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium on January 11, 2020, in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – JANUARY 11: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on during the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium on January 11, 2020, in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Second dimension doesn’t develop:

Sticking with the offensive side of things, let’s take a moment to pause and appreciate just how special the 2019 Baltimore Ravens were in running the ball and owning the middle of the field in the passing game. Moment taken? It was awesome, wasn’t it?

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It’s probably safe to assume that every defensive coordinator in the league has seen that and recognized it, and are planning accordingly. Now, I’m not one of those “They’re-going-to-figure-out-Lamar guys.” I kind of feel like the great ones are going to make plays regardless what you do against them, and when Jackson has been stymied thus far in his short career, you can see plays he left on the field that he typically makes or turnovers that you don’t normally see him make. Think about Tom Brady. Everybody has known what Brady was going to do with short crossers and comebacks over the years, but he executes with precision and preparation.

Jackson needs to add another club to his bag this season, and that club needs to be outs and comebacks on the sidelines, moving congestion out of the middle. If the Ravens can’t scheme up more efficient plays on the perimeter, or if Jackson doesn’t execute those plays, the offense can be slowed down. Jackson’s too good, and too rare an athlete, to be completely shut down by many teams, but the NFL is competitive. Every step backward can cost a game.