The Baltimore Ravens are eager to get their 2022 comeback season off to a roaring start and have their eyes set on the coveted AFC North title.
After finishing last in the division in 2021, the Ravens will benefit from the returns of several starters like Ronnie Stanley, Marcus Peters, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and a beefed-up Lamar Jackson.
On paper, Baltimore has one of the best rosters in the conference, yet the AFC North poses as an unpredictable gauntlet and there’s no telling what will happen between now and the start of the season.
In an ideal preseason, the Ravens rookies will quickly adapt to the competitiveness of the league, Jackson will return to elite form, and the team’s offensive and defensive units will have respectively gelled together in time for Week 1.
A few NFL pundits have set high hopes for the Ravens this upcoming season including Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson, who listed his bold predictions for AFC North teams in 2022 and had Baltimore topping the AFC North:
"“The Ravens’ backfield was decimated before the season even began, and the secondary took a real beating late in the year — not to mention losing Lamar Jackson for some time. The Ravens were overtaken in the pecking order when those injuries began to mount, but a healthy roster again puts them right back among the favorites in the AFC, let alone the division. Baltimore is the obvious choice for this year’s worst-to-first candidate in terms of standings.”"
Ravens touted to win the AFC North while Bengals regress in 2022
Monson’s other predictions for Baltimore are arguably much “bolder:” Tyler Linderbaum will be the best-graded rookie offensive lineman, and Lamar Jackson will record under 200 yards on breakaway runs.
What may bring the biggest smile to Ravens fans is Monson’s prediction for the Cincinnati Bengals, who memorably thrashed Baltimore twice last season.
The Bengals vastly overachieved in 2021 and “it wouldn’t take a lot for the Bengals to go from Super Bowl losers to missing the postseason entirely,” especially given the relative toughness of the AFC.
The Bengals’ passing attack is one area in which Cincy clearly beats out Baltimore, but the Ravens boast the better overall defense assuming their roster stays healthy.
All in all, the AFC North promises to be yet another entertaining division to watch in 2022 with the Ravens, Bengals, and Browns all feasibly vying for the title (sorry, Pittsburgh).
Comeback season is upon us, and the Baltimore Ravens have the talent and winning DNA to jump back into first place in the division and even compete for a ring.