The buzz of a new quarterback has everybody in anticipation of the 2018-2019 NFL season, but I don’t feel it is for the right reason. There is much more to look forward to than Lamar Jackson alone.
Joe Flacco and pressure, name a more iconic duo. When the temperature is cranked up, Flacco’s play rises to the occasion. This is the season of expectation; this is do or die. Every fan believes he’ll step up, too. But his play isn’t going to magically become more due to the pressure alone, he also has a brand new set of weapons, including: Michael Crabtree, Hayden Hurst, John Brown, Mark Andrews, Jordan Lasley, Willie Snead and Jaleel Scott. Finally, something more than a single veteran and late-round picks or undrafted talent to surround Joe.
At some point, the Ravens can’t continue sustaining incredible amounts of injuries, right? The Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Baltimore Ravens, Steve Saunders, is in his third season with the Ravens. This could be the year his program officially takes off and brings the Ravens away from the recent damages of OTAs and training camp. He’s done a good job helping this team for years, in how many players have recovered, now it’s time for injury prevention.
Last season, the defense created an incredible amount of turnovers. In a Dean Pees conservative scheme, there was aggressive play by the secondary coupled with a violent front seven. This brought the Ravens defense to combine for 22 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles.
Don Martindale is known for a more aggressive playstyle, which could bring about more turnovers and a better success down the stretch of games. Hopefully, even if the Ravens regress in the turnover department, the offense can take control of games, rather than beg for the defense and Justin Tucker to bail the team out for three-to-five drives in the final quarter.
The team still has Justin Tucker, Sam Koch and Morgan Cox. The journey of the wolfpack is on for another year, and it’s exciting when witnessing the greatest kicker of all time continue his success. Also, Sam Koch’s dominance in the punting game is thrilling.
Three facets of the game are all shaping up well. Parts may decline, but there are many areas expected to improve in the following season. The Baltimore Ravens stand in a good position in the AFC North, and they’ll prove it in the following months.