EPA/passing play: 10th
Wide receiver corps grade: 20th
Cap space entering 2023: 8th
The 6-3 Ravens continued their winning ways on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints despite wide receiver Rashod Bateman being out for the season and tight end Mark Andrews being inactive. They received one vote from sources around the NFL.
Among the teams listed in this article, the Ravens absolutely could use Beckham the most after Bateman’s injury.
Getting Andrews back will help quarterback Lamar Jackson, and rookie tight end Isaiah Likely has emerged to help the overall pass-catching corps. But Jackson’s top wide receivers moving forward are Devin Duvernay, Demarcus Robinson, James Proche, Tylan Wallace and DeSean Jackson, who made it through 11 snaps before leaving Week 9 with a hamstring injury.
Beckham would immediately become Jackson’s best wide receiver. One question is whether the Ravens pass the ball enough to justify the move.
Baltimore is set to have over $47 million in salary cap space entering the 2023 season, though that doesn’t account for Jackson’s seemingly inevitable franchise tag.
Isaiah Likely remains a fascinating prospect and has been a pleasant surprise as a blocker. He’s at 17 catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns, but he’s also making some nice contributions in the run game for the Ravens, which is a must if he wants to stay on the field. More and more, that is looking like a nice pick.
C: Tyler Linderbaum, Ravens
Unsurprisingly, Linderbaum has been as advertised at center, especially in the run game and on the move. His lack of length will show in pass protection, but the highest-ranked center in the draft has played like the best rookie center in the NFL this season.
Hall doesn’t have a QB pressure in three weeks and played just nine snaps for the Bucs on Sunday, but he does have 2.0 sacks and seven pressures for the year. Jones also hasn’t played a high volume as of late (21 snaps in Week 8, 15 in Week 9), but he’s been impactful when out there.
Sorting out NFL contenders and pretenders at halfway point: Ravens rising with revamped defense - Jordan Dajani
Baltimore Ravens (6-3, 1st in AFC North)
The Ravens are a new addition to the “contenders” category. The main reason why is because of the improvement shown on defense. That 27-13 win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night was impressive. The Saints came into that matchup with the No. 3 offense in the NFL, averaging 394.4 yards per game, but this Ravens defense held them to just 243 total yards. Justin Houston was fantastic with 2.5 sacks and an interception, Tyus Bowser made an impact in his return to the field and former Bear Roquan Smith clearly showed he can help this team. Rookie David Ojabo could make his debut soon and star safety Marcus Williams should return before the playoffs.
Offensively, I think everyone knows what the Ravens are. Lamar Jackson leads the No. 2 rushing offense in the league, and the offensive line is talented. Per PFF, Baltimore has the No. 1 pass-blocking line, and the No. 5 run-blocking line. I have the Ravens as the best team in the AFC North, and if they stay healthy, they could have an opportunity to make a run.
Five Key Numbers For Ravens At Season’s Midpoint - Bo Smolka
635 — Rushing yards for Lamar Jackson
In their most recent two games, the Ravens got back to their roots with a run-first, clock-eating ground attack that wore down both Tampa Bay and New Orleans. The Ravens piled up 204 rushing yards in the second half against Tampa Bay, and totaled 132 after halftime against the Saints.
Through nine games, though, the Ravens have cycled through five running backs, with Kenyan Drake, Justice Hill and Mike Davis all serving as fill-ins while incumbents J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards worked back from injuries that cost them all of the 2021 season. Dobbins and Edwards are both dealing with injuries again.
No running back on the team is on pace for even 650 rushing yards, and yet their rushing offense ranks No. 2 in the league, largely because of Jackson.
Jackson leads the Ravens with 86 carries for 635 yards, and his average of 7.4 yards a run leads the league. He is on pace for 1,199 rushing yards, just shy of his total of 1,206 (in 16 games) in his MVP season of 2019.
Jackson had a 79-yard touchdown run — the longest of his career — against Miami in Week 2, and he kept the ball four times on the Ravens final drive to set up Justin Tucker’s game-winning field goal as time expired against Cincinnati.
Jackson has averaged just 163 yards through the air in the past three games, and his completion percentage (.623) ranks 27th in the league. To be sure, legitimate questions exist about the Ravens’ passing game, but Jackson continues to show that the Ravens’ run game runs through him.
Sizing Up Ravens’ Schedule After the Bye - Ryan Mink
The Ravens are in excellent position at 6-3 and in first place in the AFC North at the bye. Looking at their remaining schedule gives even more optimism that Baltimore is on track to get back into the playoffs and even earn a high seed (and home playoff games). The Ravens’ remaining opponents have a combined record of 24-44 and only one team (the Bengals) currently has a winning record.
This season is giving off 2019 vibes right now. The Ravens started that campaign at 2-2 before rattling off 12 straight victories. Baltimore found its rhythm offensively, jumping out to leads early in games and then battering them in the second half with a punishing ground game. Defensively, the Ravens got a lot of turnovers that season. Sound familiar? This year’s Ravens have had double-digit leads in every game, they’ve run over their last two opponents in the second half, and Baltimore has the third-most takeaways in the league.
With all that said, no games in the NFL are gimmes – especially divisional games. The Ravens still have four AFC North games remaining. Despite the Steelers’ troubles this year, it’s still the Steelers and they’re getting reigning Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt back. The Browns will have Deshaun Watson under center soon. The Bengals just scored their most dominant win of the season and could get hot at any time. While the Ravens will probably be favored in every game (perhaps barring the finale in Cincinnati) from here on out, that doesn’t mean every game can be chalked up as an easy win. The Ravens need to keep improving.