The Duel

3 Things the Ravens Must Do to Reach the Super Bowl Next Season

Max Staley
Lamar Jackson runs with the ball against the Tennessee Titans.
Lamar Jackson runs with the ball against the Tennessee Titans. / Will Newton/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

The 2019-20 Baltimore Ravens had one of the most impressive regular seasons in recent memory, but their year ended in heartbreak, losing to a red-hot Tennessee Titans team in the AFC Divisional Round.

Still, there was a reason Baltimore was favored to win it all entering the postseason. The Ravens were the seventh-best team since 1985 by Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics, Lamar Jackson took home the NFL MVP award, and Baltimore finished as the league's top scoring offense and third-best scoring defense.

Already dominant on both sides of the ball, Baltimore doesn't have much room to improve, but these three tweaks could make the Ravens Super Bowl champions come next February.

1. Improve Wide Receiver Corps

Marquise Brown runs after the catch against the Tennessee Titans.
Marquise Brown runs after the catch against the Tennessee Titans. / Rob Carr/Getty Images

The expected development of Marquise Brown should help in this regard, but Baltimore would be wise to bring in another solid wideout. Wide receiver is clearly an area of need, as outside of Brown, no Ravens' WR had more than 400 receiving yards. Adding another threat on the outside to complement Mark Andrews could help take the top off the defense and open up even more space for Jackson and Mark Ingram in the run game.

2. Improve the Defensive Line to Become Less Reliant on Blitzing

Jadeveon Clowney lines up against the Green Bay Packers.
Jadeveon Clowney lines up against the Green Bay Packers. / Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

In 2019, no one blitzed more than the Ravens – and it wasn't even close. Baltimore blitzed on 54.9 percent of opponent's drop backs. For reference, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the second-highest blitz percentage, and they only blitzed 43.4 percent of the time. While this strategy produced some fantastic results, as the Ravens had the third-most QB hits in the NFL (111), blitzing that frequently can leave a defense exposed to big plays. This weakness reared its head in the AFC Divisional Round, as Tennessee had three plays of at least 25 yards against Baltimore. Making a run at an established defensive lineman who can generate pressure without blitzing, like Jadeveon Clowney, could take this unit over the top. With Jackson still on his rookie contract, now is the time to go all-in with a splashy defensive singing.

3. Shore Up the Run Defense

Michael Pierce celebrates against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Michael Pierce celebrates against the Pittsburgh Steelers. / Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Coming off a 14-2 season, the Ravens frankly don't have many holes. So at the risk of nitpicking, Baltimore could also stand to improve its run defense. The Ravens were only the No. 19 unit against the run by DVOA, and they were exposed by Derrick Henry, who tallied 195 yards on 30 carries. Adding an athletic, downhill linebacker in the NFL Draft or free agency could make a world of difference for this Ravens team.


Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.


Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

facebooktwitterreddit