This offseason feels different. These new-look Baltimore Ravens should end up having more of a high-flying offense that isn't afraid to sling it. Meanwhile, the defense, as always, looks like a top unit.
Lamar Jackson has the best group of weapons he's ever had. New offensive coordinatory Todd Monken will find ways to use Odell Beckham Jr., Zay Flowers among others and the Ravens are going to score points.
Veteran linebacker Roquan Smith believes the team is going to be in for a big season in 2023.
"I'm just excited to get out there and fly around with the guys, because I think we're in for something special," Smith told the Ravens' official site.
If this team is indeed going to do something special, though, then one thing has to happen: dominate the AFC North.
The AFC North divisional battles are wide open for the Baltimore Ravens
Last season, every single team in the AFC North finished with a divisional record of 3-3, believe it or not. That is further proof that this division is open for the taking, so long as a team can dominate its closest rivals.
Hypothetically, let's say the Ravens swept the division last year. If they did, that would have improved their record to 13-4, which would put them as the number one team in the division over the Bengals who finished 12-4, thanks to their prime time game with the Buffalo Bills being canceled.
Obviously, the Ravens had a tough time with injuries, especially with Jackson missing the tail end of the season. Assuming he's healthy this year, and the Ravens' defense is as good as they believe it will be, then Baltimore absolutely has a chance to run the table in the AFC North this year.
There is also a great chance that the winner of the AFC North ends up in the Championship Game, likely against the Kansas City Chiefs. I'm not exactly sure what "something special" means to Roquan, but I'd assume a Championship Game matchup with the Chiefs would qualify
Sure, winning that game and ultimately the Super Bowl is the goal. But, let's start with dominating the division. Because, if the Ravens can do that, then the chances of making it that far into the postseason are far greater.