Jackson is one of the most polarizing players in the NFL. He has received his fair share of criticism for his postseason performances. But the truth is, Baltimore’s offense — which has been built entirely around Jackson’s unique skill set as a runner — ranks behind only the Chiefs in expected points added per play since 2019. That’s worth building around. Stanley is the other major cornerstone on offense, ranking in the 88th percentile of all tackles in pass-blocking grade since 2016.
Humphrey would be one of the top defenders to build around in the league. He just turned 25 years old and is the only qualifying cornerback in the NFL to record coverage grades of at least 80.0 in the slot and out wide since 2017.
Ranking NFL’s top 10 quarterback/coach duos in 2021: Tom Brady, Bruce Arians unseat Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid - Jeff Kerr
5. Lamar Jackson/John Harbaugh — Baltimore Ravens
Jackson finally has a playoff victory on his resume, but the Ravens fell to the Bills in the playoffs last year. Why do they have a higher ranking than Allen and McDermott? Both Jackson and Harbaugh have accomplished so much in just under two-and-a-half seasons that it makes the pair one of the best in the league.
Jackson does have a MVP on his resume (the youngest MVP in league history) and became the third-youngest player to win league MVP and a playoff game at 24 years and 3 days old — only Patrick Mahomes (23 years, 117 days) and Dan Marino (23 years, 106 days) were younger. He also joined Colin Kaepernick as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with multiple 100-yard rushing yard games in the postseason, despite his 1-3 playoff record.
Harbaugh deserves plenty of credit for his development. Harbaugh is 140-86 (.620 win percentage) in his career, becoming just one of 10 head coaches in NFL history to make the postseason nine times in his first 13 NFL seasons. His eight playoff wins on the road are the most in NFL history (which he accomplished last season). He also has won Super Bowl XLVII and is one of the best coaches in the game.
As I wrote last year, Harbaugh and Jackson can easily crack the top three on this list with a postseason run. We’re still waiting for them to take the next step in a competitive AFC.
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30) Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
There is nobody more electric in the league than Lamar Jackson. Make a case for Tyreek Hill or anybody else all you want; there is only one right answer. Nobody else touches the ball on every offensive possession as much as Jackson does. He has the potential to take the ball to the house on every play.
The former league MVP might finally have a legitimate weapon on the outside in Rashod Bateman. Jackson remains an inconsistent passer outside of the numbers, but his athletic ability makes up for that significantly.
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After losing Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency, the Ravens didn’t replace them with an accomplished veteran edge rusher. Sure, they re-signed outside linebacker Tyus Bowser and Pernell McPhee and drafted Odafe Oweh in the first round, but that doesn’t feel like enough commitment to the pass rush. Bowser has 10 1/2 career sacks in four seasons and McPhee hasn’t had more than four sacks in a season since 2015. Oweh is a freak athletically, but he had no sacks in his final season at Penn State and the Ravens’ complicated defense can be tough to learn for rookies. Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale has shown an ability to scheme up a pass rush, and he blitzes more than anybody. There’s a clear need, though, for an eight-to-10 sack outside linebacker.
Predicting How The AFC North Finishes - Brandon Little
Baltimore Ravens (11-6)
AT RAIDERS W
VS CHIEFS L
AT LIONS W
AT BRONCOS W
VS COLTS L
VS CHARGERS W
VS BENGALS W
VS VIKINGS L
AT DOLPHINS W
AT BEARS W
VS BROWNS W
AT STEELERS L
AT BROWNS L
VS PACKERS L
AT BENGALS W
VS RAMS L
VS STEELERS W
Ravens are a very good football team and the future continues to be bright in Baltimore. The back end of the Ravens schedule is a meat grinder and dropping a three game stretch toward the end of the season is the difference. Just two weeks later a matchup with the Los Angeles Rams is not ideal either. Luckily, that game includes a west coast team traveling the entire country. Either way it will be a tough outing for the Ravens. Consistency proves to be the falling point and the Ravens come up just short.