Ravens are ‘set to rebound’ after a disastrous 2021 season

Kristen Wong
Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Compared to other NFL teams, the Baltimore Ravens‘ 2021 season shouldn’t be considered a total failure. That being said, fans can expect a huge rebound in 2022.

The AFC North was one of the most unpredictable battlegrounds last season, and very few would have predicted Baltimore to finish last.

Hit hard by injuries and exhausted by stretches of close, nail-biting games (Baltimore lost four games by two points or fewer), the Ravens proved resilient, but even they had a breaking point.

That point coincided with Lamar Jackson’s injury, and the Ravens missed the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

Still, NFL.com’s Mark Sessler named the Ravens as one of four teams who will turn it around in 2022, praising “dudes” such as John Harbaugh, Lamar Jackson, and Eric DeCosta:

"“The Ravens had every excuse to win four games, but they came within a few bad breaks of postseason play. Bank on the fact that general manager Eric DeCosta is huddled away in a bunker, surrounded by half-eaten cartons of General Tso’s chicken and plotting revenge. Harbaugh — always open to change and new avenues — does not rest. Lamar burns to prove his starry rise was no truncated fluke.These dudes will return with a fire from within.”"

The Ravens were listed as bounce-back candidates for 2022

Sessler notes that even “the hideous-to-examine 9-7-1 Steelers” and the Bengals, who won four games last season, made the playoffs this year.

It was a weird, flukey season for AFC North teams, but in 2022 the Ravens have all the prerequisites for a playoff-contending, division-winning squad.

A wise front office. Savvy and experienced coaches. A star quarterback. Sessler refers to the Ravens franchise as one built of steel, and compared to other AFC North teams, Baltimore stands on one of the most stable foundations.

The team will benefit from the return of key players like J.K. Dobbins, Marlon Humphrey, and Ronnie Stanley, and barring any cruel circumstances should field a much healthier roster for 2022.

The AFC has become ridiculously competitive in recent years with Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, and Joe Burrow leading their respective teams into the upper echelons of the league.

Even if Lamar Jackson isn’t as talked about as much as those quarterbacks, he still poses as a franchise-worthy signal-caller who will have a strong supporting cast next year.

After Don Martindale’s firing, Baltimore’s defense is going to get a much-needed makeover. The offense will get its shiny weapons back, and finger crossed, Lamar Jackson will recover from injury and play better than ever.

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2021 may be the Bengals’ year to win it all, but next season is a totally different story. The Ravens will be back with a vengeance.