The Baltimore Ravens have been called one-dimensional, on a number of occasions actually. That term has followed the current iteration of this team around ever since Lamar Jackson became the starting quarterback.
Their offense, while genius in its own right, has been criticized for becoming too dependent on the run game and folding against some of the NFL’s best defenses.
Jackson, for all of his superstar traits, has been labeled as someone who can’t perform in the playoffs and isn’t the talented thrower that the other top quarterbacks in the NFL are.
Those are the narratives that the Ravens have fought to disprove for the better part of the last three years. Slowly, the perception has started to change.
Jackson won his first playoff game last season. Meanwhile, the Ravens offense has begun to evolve into a more balanced system, perhaps out of necessity.
It’s working. The Ravens are proving that they aren’t one-dimensional. And Sunday’s convincing 23-7 victory over the Denver Broncos was perhaps the best evidence of this development.
The Ravens leaned on Lamar Jackson and the passing game in Week 4
For the second consecutive week, Jackson was more effective in the air than he was with his legs. With the absence of a running game against a good Broncos defense, Jackson and the passing game took over.
The former MVP finished 22-of-37 for 316 yards and a touchdown in the air. The Ravens averaged just 3.4 yards per carry and needed a controversial last-second run from Jackson to even reach 100 yards rushing on the day.
Had they not opted against a kneel down, it would have marked the first time in 43 games that they had failed to reach 100 yards on the ground.
It didn’t matter, though. Jackson looked as sharp as he ever has. Players like Mark Andrews, Marquise Brown, and Sammy Watkins shined and came through at important times.
The Ravens couldn’t run the ball. But their offense still had no issues advancing down the field. They didn’t just survive on offense — they thrived.
And they did so against a Broncos defense that ranked among the best in the NFL in almost every category heading into the game. A Broncos defense that featured arguably the best secondary in football.
This is the development that Ravens fans and Greg Roman critics have been waiting years for. The Ravens are busting narratives.
They’re proving that they have the ability to find sustained offensive success against the best defenses in the NFL. And they’re proving that they can do so by running or passing the ball.
If the offense — more specifically Lamar Jackson — continues to perform at this level, this Ravens team could make a serious postseason run.
The pieces are coming together in Baltimore. Narratives be damned.