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The duality of the Baltimore Ravens’ 2020 season

“Two sides of the same coin”

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens’ 2020 campaign for the Lombardi Trophy has ended and there lies a fanbase in purgatory. They left on a low note in the Divisional round for the second-straight season, but the exit was both the same and different. The duality of the 2020 season was one of success and failure.

Running and Passing

For the second-straight season, Baltimore steamrolled the NFL with their rushing attack. Nearly 400 yards above the second place rushing offense (Tennessee Titans). However, this did not come without the complete and total lack of passing success.

The Ravens’ passing attack ranked below the likes of Adam Gase’s New York Jets. Below the Drew Lock Denver Broncos (six spots lower, in fact). Even the struggling New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. Dead last.

Victory and Defeat

At one point this season, the Ravens sat a game from .500 (6-5). They were injured, dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 and not playing good football. But in the theme of duality, they caught fire with five-straight regular season wins when they were on the brink of missing the playoffs.

Spending and Saving

The Ravens’ front office believed in their defense. They spent big money and draft capital in acquiring the best players, including Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue. However, on offense, there were gaps left in the wide receiver department and interior offensive line. That’s not to say they didn’t try, because they’ve drafted multiple receivers and offensive linemen, but the theme of this team was defense.

Baltimore spent the third-most of any team on defense this season, with $105 million allocated toward their defense. On offense, they placed 31 in spending, with only $56 million.

Postseason Victory and Defeat

The Ravens entered the postseason with a bid to take vengeance on their 2019 nightmare. After being trounced by the Titans in the 2019 Divisional round, the Ravens constructed their roster to defeat the Titans if a rematch were to occur. It did. They did.

Sticking with the theme, the Ravens also were booted from the Divisional round. Once again, their offense couldn’t push the ball downfield and their offensive line struggled against an arguably inferior defensive front. The offense mustered only three points and it felt akin to the 2019 offensive failures.

Limbo. That’s where the Ravens fanbase sits due to the many successes and failures of the 2020 Ravens. They were admirable in going 11-5 and winning a playoff game. They also suffered defeats which only further frustrate the masses. Boringly, the answer is not black and white. It’s not that the Ravens season was solely a success or failure. It was a shade of grey. It is limbo.