Heading into a new season, the Ravens still have their own challenges to overcome, mainly rebuilding the offensive line, adding defensive reinforcements, developing young players, and silencing a few doubters.
NFL.com’s Adam Schein listed the teams with the biggest Super Bowl windows for 2022, including obvious favorites like the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs along with teams enjoying recent success like the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals.
One team that was notably snubbed? The Baltimore Ravens. Schein’s argument pares down to the Ravens’ recent injury woes.
"“Baltimore was my toughest omission. The Ravens barely missed the cut. Snake-bitten all season, they must experience better injury luck next fall.”"
Schein believes the Tennessee Titans, the possibly Aaron Rodgers-less Packers, and a 49ers team led by the unproven Trey Lance have a better chance of reaching the Super Bowl than the Ravens, which is frankly mind-boggling.
The Titans can and will dominate the run game with Derrick Henry’s unquestionably resurgence, but playoffs tell a different story. Did Schein watch the Titans pitifully flail against the Bengals?
A strong rushing attack alone won’t get teams far in the postseason — Baltimore knows this all too well.
Whereas the Titans’ passing game which is only as good (and bad) as their quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, the Ravens have been gradually building around Lamar Jackson to give him the deep-threat weapons he needs to take his game to the next level.
The Ravens are rudely snubbed from Super Bowl contenders list for 2022
If Jackson is healthy in 2022, and he seems to be right on track, the Ravens should be considered automatic Super Bowl contenders. They aren’t the favorites by any stretch, but their 2021 season showed how well-run of a team they were and how they overcame adversity.
Barring another injury-ridden catastrophe, Baltimore should bounce back comfortably to the top of the AFC North and be able to make a deep playoff run.
They’ll need reinforcements in the trenches and in the secondary, but the Ravens are built well to compete in the playoffs year after year. Their extremely sustainable model of success involves drafting wisely, so much of Baltimore’s future may depend on what happens in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Like the Bengals, the Ravens’ core is pretty young, and they have a potentially top-five quarterback to boot.
In anticipation of next season’s controversy, no, Jackson has still not been figured out by defenses — with a hopefully stronger offensive line, he can remain elite in the pocket and dangerous on the ground.
With many other players returning from injury, too, one can’t reasonably omit Baltimore from Super Bowl contention by arguing that the Ravens may experience just as bad “injury luck” as before. That applies to all NFL teams, and injuries are never predictable anyway.
The Ravens don’t play the prettiest football or have the most talent on their roster, but they also don’t have salient weaknesses.
From the front office to the coaches to the players, the organization can take pride in staying competitive for the last five years regardless of whether luck is on Baltimore’s side.
The AFC will be tough, but the Ravens know how to be tougher.