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Ravens News 6/1: Top-10 Triplets and more

Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Ranking NFL 2021 ‘Triplets,’ Part II: From the middle (Raiders) to the top (Packers) - Jared Dubin

9. Baltimore Ravens (9.3)

QB: Lamar Jackson RB: J.K. Dobbins TE: Mark Andrews

Jackson obviously took a bit of a step backward last season, but I think the degree to which he was unsuccessful has been overblown. Jackson still finished the year eighth in QBR and tied for 13th (with Stafford) in EPA per pass attempt. Throw in his value as a runner and it’s clear he was still quite good. He should remain good this season, and now that the Ravens have given him some more weapons, he should have more room for his throws. He also seems unlikely to have as poor a deep-ball season as he did last year, considering that had long been one of his strengths. Dobbins should split carries with Gus Edwards but he seems likely to be the lead guy, and the one who is targeted in the passing game. Andrews remains an excellent over-the-middle weapon, even if he doesn’t play quite as many snaps as some other top tight ends.

Top 25 offensive tackles in the 2021 NFL season - Matt Williamson

7. Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore Ravens

With Marshal Yanda retiring before the season and Ronnie Stanley falling to injury in Week 8, Baltimore’s offensive line lost its two best players in a short span. Orlando Brown ably replaced Stanley at left tackle, but the cumulative effect of losing Yanda and Stanley, a prototypical left tackle, was huge. Baltimore will welcome him back.

30 NFL stadiums ranked from best to worst - Tommy Garrett

20) M&T Bank Stadium

M&T Bank Stadium opened in 1998, has a capacity of 71,008, and is the home of the Baltimore Ravens.

While 23 years old, M&T Bank Stadium does not feel like it, thanks to the $120 million spent in renovations in 2019. When the Ravens are rolling, few fanbases are more intense during home games than those wearing Purple and Black. Located in a great spot and by Camden Yards, this NFL stadium has an energy that few can match.

50 Words or Less - John Eisenberg

This week’s headlines about the salary cap probably rising sharply in 2022 furthered my conviction that next year is the best time to sign Lamar Jackson to a new deal. But the Ravens should still try to do it sooner, mostly to avoid that point where the clock starts ticking.

One of the rituals of spring workouts, even in a pandemic, is seeing how much the bodies of second-year players have changed after a year under team control. My unscientific observations include wide receiver Devin Duvernay clearly looking stronger and defensive lineman Broderick Washington definitely looking more sculpted.

Josh Oliver, another candidate for the No. 3 tight end job, also looked sharp. Between Wolf, Oliver, Jake Breeland, Eric Tomlinson and hybrids Pat Ricard and Ben Mason, the Ravens truly have an abundance of players who could potentially log snaps at tight end after Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle.

Baltimore Ravens 2021 schedule: Predicting every game, opponent win totals, record projection - Tyler Sullivan

Week 13 at Pittsburgh Steelers

Opponent win total: O/U 9

It does feel like every Steelers-Ravens game is a heavyweight fight and I expect the status quo to remain here. Both should be in contention for a playoff spot by this point in the year, but I’m not confident that Ben Roethlisberger will be in top form. The Pittsburgh signal-caller took a noticeable dip as the year progressed in 2020 and I could see him facing a similar fate in what may be his final season in the NFL. The Steelers have a defense that should be able to keep them in this matchup, but Roethlisberger’s struggles could be what holds them back from protecting their home field.

Prediction: Baltimore wins 23-20

Projected record: 10-2

Week 14 at Cleveland Browns

Opponent win total: O/U 10

As we alluded to earlier, Baltimore’s toughest foe in the division looks like it’ll be Cleveland. While they were able to get the better of them at M&T Bank Stadium, they’ll be a much tougher out in their own building. I’m looking for Baker Mayfield to take another leap in his development in 2021 as he enters the second year in Kevin Stefanski’s system and makes this Browns offense a well-rounded unit that’s extremely difficult for teams to fully silence. It’ll be close, but Cleveland prevents Baltimore from completing the season sweep.

Prediction: Baltimore loses 21-17

Projected record: 10-3

Top 11 all-time NFL players from service academies - Chase Goodbread

Alejandro Villanueva, OL, Army

A 2010 West Point graduate, Villanueva had the remarkable distinction of making a position switch from offensive line to wide receiver at the college level. He started at left tackle for the Black Knights as a junior, but led the team in every receiving category (34-522-5) a year later at 6-foot-10, 283 pounds. The Bengals decided not to sign him after trying him out at tight end in 2010, and he then embarked upon a decorated service career that included three tours of duty in Afghanistan and a pair of Bronze Star Medals. As a pro football player, he’s developed from a practice squad player to two-time Pro Bowler over the course of five seasons, and has started 58 consecutive games for the Steelers over the last three seasons.