Ravens: 3 key players to watch in Week 1 against the Raiders

Ravens, Anthony Averett (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Ravens, Anthony Averett (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Ravens, Sammy Watkins (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

2. Sammy Watkins, WR, Ravens

Another player that fans should watch out for on Monday night is Sammy Watkins. The Ravens signed Watkins to a one-year deal this offseason in hopes that he would help improve their passing game.

He is a good receiver who played with the Kansas City Chiefs including that Super Bowl-winning team in 2019. However, Watkins’ best statistical years were in Buffalo when Greg Roman was his offensive coordinator.

They are hoping that those two rediscover that magic and he becomes the No. 1 target for Lamar Jackson. If that does happen, not only will Jackson’s game evolve but it will open up the rest of the field for Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown (Jackson’s favorite targets).

Watkins has been arguably the team’s best receiver in the offseason practices. That is great news for an offense that desperately needs more production from its passing game.

However, with Jackson missing time due to COVID-19 and Watkins nursing an undisclosed injury, they have not had much practice time to work together. Week 1 against the Raiders on Monday night should be a good indicator of how great their chemistry is.

Another reason why fans should expect a big game from Watkins is because of the injuries the team has suffered on offense. All of their running backs from the 2020 season are out for the season.

Therefore, the offense will certainly rely more on the passing game this season. They are still a run-first team, but they could start against the Raiders very pass-heavy.

If so, Watkins should receive a substantial amount of targets. He could be due for a huge game to start the season.