The Ravens met expectations in the course of the 2022 season.
They had been anticipated to win between 10 and 11 video games, get to playoffs and should beat Kansas City, Buffalo or Cincinnati in some mixture to make it to the Super Bowl. They didn’t, shedding to the Bengals, 24-17, within the AFC wild-card spherical.
Now, the Ravens are trying to find an offensive coordinator to exchange Greg Roman, and so they have a choice to make about star quarterback Lamar Jackson. Do they commerce him, or do they attempt to work out some equitable contract extension?
Regardless of what occurs with Jackson, search for the Ravens to pick out a quarterback early in April’s draft and to search out reinforcements at cornerback and broad receiver. They’ll need to improve their passing sport and get quicker on the again finish of the protection.
But earlier than we glance too far into the longer term, The Baltimore Sun presents its closing report card for the 2022 Ravens.
Lamar Jackson began the season sturdy however the Ravens turned him right into a sport supervisor after two main turnovers late of their 24-20 loss to the New York Giants in Week 6. Jackson wasn’t glad together with his new function, however the Ravens rattled off 4 extra wins earlier than shedding to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He injured his knee within the first quarter in opposition to the Denver Broncos the next week and didn’t return, lacking the ultimate six video games. Backup Tyler Huntley performed moderately effectively, finishing 67% of his passes for 658 yards and two touchdowns, however he shall be lengthy remembered for his goal-line fumble that Bengals defensive finish Sam Hubbard returned 98 yards for the game-winning landing within the Ravens’ playoff loss to Cincinnati. Third-stringer Anthony Brown confirmed stunning arm energy in his one begin late within the regular-season finale in opposition to the Bengals, however the Ravens by no means totally overcame the lack of Jackson, who accomplished 62.3% of his passes for two,242 yards and 17 touchdowns. Jackson, although, must be reminded that quarterbacks earn their standing of greatness within the playoffs, and you may’t win a Super Bowl if you happen to’re not on the sector. Grade: C
Starter J.Okay. Dobbins completed with 520 yards on 92 carries and backup Gus Edwards had 433 yards on 87 makes an attempt, however they seldom labored in tandem like they did two years in the past. They had been slowed by their recoveries from main knee accidents that pressured every to overlook the 2021 season, and each had lingering results, particularly Dobbins, who additionally tore his hamstring after which had a cleanup knee surgical procedure midseason. No. 3 working again Kenyan Drake (109 carries for 482 yards) performed effectively at instances and his cutback capacity introduced issues for opposing groups who had been used to the downhill working kinds of Dobbins and Edwards. With a powerful offseason, Dobbins and Edwards ought to be capable of develop into a dominant duo in 2023, particularly with a brand new offensive coordinator. Dobbins may develop into the runner who controls the tempo early earlier than Edwards closes the door within the fourth quarter together with his punishing type. They couldn’t discover that rhythm persistently in 2022, however the Ravens nonetheless had one of many prime working video games within the NFL. Grade: B-
The Ravens had been profitable in working their mixture blocks and scraping off to search out different targets within the floor sport. They might need had a few of the greatest pulling tackles within the sport in Ronnie Stanley and Morgan Moses. Stanley, although, nonetheless appeared like he was struggling to plant his ft in cross safety after lacking vital time together with his ankle harm, and Moses struggled with velocity rushers to the surface. Right guard Kevin Zeitler was stable, even stellar at instances, and left guard Ben Powers performed so effectively that he’s going to make some huge cash in free company in the course of the offseason. The Ravens should be ready to ante as much as preserve him and this unit intact. Rookie heart Tyler Linderbaum performed moderately effectively and made blocks into the second degree, however he has to get stronger this offseason to maneuver defensive linemen lined up instantly in entrance of him. Backup Patrick Mekari was the proper utility man in any respect positions on the offensive line and the Ravens didn’t lose a lot when he crammed in. The Ravens, although, nonetheless should be higher in cross safety, and so they didn’t have a lot of a working sport contained in the pink zone. Throwing downfield and having time to do it must develop into a daily a part of the offense. Grade: B
The Ravens have failed miserably at this place by way of the years in each the draft and free company. General supervisor Eric DeCosta wants to deal with why he retains utilizing first-round draft picks on guys like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Rashod Bateman, who had been each injured of their closing school seasons. Neither has performed as much as the place they had been drafted. The Ravens preserve signing veteran free brokers like Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson (48 catches for 458 yards) and DeSean Jackson (9 catches for 153 yards), however they’re previous their prime. The youthful ones like Devin Duvernay (37 catches for 407 yards) and James Proche II (eight catches for 62 yards) both can’t get open or the Ravens don’t do sufficient to scheme them open. The Ravens do have expertise at tight finish, although, as Mark Andrews had 73 receptions for 847 yards and 5 touchdowns and rookie Isaiah Likely had 36 catches for 373 yards and two touchdowns. They additionally received tight finish Josh Oliver within the combine. Grade: D
The Ravens confirmed a number of versatility and depth right here. They received little out of nostril deal with Michael Pierce, who had season-ending surgical procedure on his torn biceps after Week 3, however received ample contributions from replacements Broderick Washington (49 tackles, one sack) and rookie Travis Jones (24 tackles, one sack). Washington turned one of many unsung heroes on protection. Veteran defensive finish Calais Campbell had one other sturdy 12 months with 36 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks regardless of lacking three video games. Tackle Justin Madubuike (42 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks) confirmed good quickness and penetration into the backfield to close down working performs, however he wants to enhance as a cross rusher to develop into extra of an entire participant. End Brent Urban (21 tackles, one sack) additionally offered depth for a protection that frequently shut down opposing working video games. Grade: B
Middle linebacker Roquan Smith proved to be the crew’s Most Valuable Player, ending with the third-most tackles on the crew (86) regardless of enjoying eight video games for the Bears. Smith not solely gave the Ravens a bodily presence within the center however, extra importantly, an every-down participant who may run sideline to sideline or cowl receivers. Smith made linebacker Patrick Queen (team-leading 117 tackles) higher as a result of the Ravens may use him extra as a run or cross blitzer, using his straight-ahead velocity, however he nonetheless wants to enhance in cross protection. The exterior linebackers had been inconsistent all year long in every thing from holding the sting to offering constant stress on quarterbacks. Veterans comparable to Justin Houston (9 1/2 sacks) and Jason Pierre-Paul (three sacks) had been sturdy rushers at instances, whereas second-year professional Odafe Oweh and veteran Tyus Bowser struggled to offer constant stress. Rookie David Ojabo would possibly develop into the crew’s prime cross rusher sooner or later however was slowed by his restoration from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered in March. Grade: B
The Ravens have to get quicker at cornerback and discover the shutdown sort. Marcus Peters brings a sure diploma of nastiness to this protection however creates anxious moments when matched in opposition to a speedy receiver just like the Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase. Marlon Humphrey (71 tackles) is a superb slot cornerback when he can work close to the road of scrimmage however struggles in house. The Ravens prefer to brag that he didn’t get beat for a landing this season, however what number of instances did he get penalized for cross interference close to the purpose line? At security, Marcus Williams (61 tackles) was a wonderful addition, Chuck Clark was second on the crew with 101 tackles and rookie Kyle Hamilton added 55 whereas enjoying totally different positions on the again finish. Brandon Stephens got here on slowly as a cornerback late within the season however he’s a greater match at security. Grade: C+
Justin Tucker was once more probably the most dependable kickers within the league, changing 37 of 43 subject purpose makes an attempt, together with a protracted of 58 yards. He additionally transformed 31 of 32 additional level tries. Rookie Jordan Stout averaged 45.9 yards on 57 punts with 26 contained in the 20, however he must be extra constant, particularly in crunch time. The Ravens had issues discovering returners due to harm, but additionally indecisiveness. Duvernay was all the time a menace till he broke his foot and was positioned on injured reserve Dec. 20. Grade: B
There had been instances when coach John Harbaugh wanted to gamble on fourth down and be aggressive, however different instances when he simply wanted to be affected person. His clock administration continues to be an issue, and that’s a serious a part of any sport, particularly within the postseason. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald was sound in his strategy and in his mixture of blending zone and man-to-man protection. As for the offense, it’s greatest put this manner: Regardless if Greg Roman was pressured out or resigned, it was time for him and the crew to half methods. Grade: C-