There is no arguing the Baltimore Ravens are entering a make-or-break type of season.
While most of the players in the Ravens' roster are still young and producing at the peak of their powers, the truth is that the moves made by the franchise this offseason point toward an all-in approach. Will they fulfill the expectations?
It'd be unfair to call a season that doesn't end in a Super Bowl win a failure, or even disappointing. At the end of the day, one out of 32 teams comes out alive and hoisting the Lombardi, so the field will always have larger odds of beating you than the other way around.
That said, the Ravens have loaded their squad on defense and mostly on offense this past spring and summer and the additions of Odell Beckham Jr., Zay Flowers, Nelson Agholor, Rock Ya-Sin, and many others will only put them in a very delicate situation when it comes to failure.
That's what Alex Kay of Bleacher Report thinks, as he penned a listicle on Tuesday in which he included what he considers the five teams "most likely to disappoint" in 2023.
Kay went on to rank Baltimore as his no. 1 contender for earning that dubious accolade, always looking at clubs expected to post records above .500.
The writer thinks that the Ravens' chances of winning it all depend on Lamar Jackson's "history of injuries" and blames the Ravens' elimination from the postseason (in 2022) and their missing out entirely (in 2021) on Jackson's poor health.
Kay acknowledges that the addition of OBJ and Flowers will "improve the receiving corps" but he also wrote that "the health of Rashod Bateman and Beckham remains uncertain," which seems to be enough for him to hang some questions above Baltimore's collective head.
Most importantly, Kay points out how "the success of Baltimore's passing effectiveness" will be "dependent" on the health and availability of key players, making the Ravens "vulnerable to potential setbacks."
This is all a very-well regurgitated injury-talk article, which also means that is an article based on something entirely out of control for the players currently rostered by Baltimore.
While injury-prone players are always a risk, there is nothing telling us that injuries will pop up on Jackson, OBJ, Dobbins, or whoever else's radar next season, as those developments are impossible to predict and can happen to anyone at any moment's time, in the most bizarre of ways.
Until the guys go down and miss time, we believe. Pencil the Ravens in your postseason bracket, and count on them putting on a strong season for the second year in a row.