In a Week 1 filled with some upset, the Ravens managed to take care of business on the road against the New York Jets. Now, it’s time to see where Baltimore lands among the NFL landscape of power rankings.
The Athletic: 7 (Previous: 6)
The Jets defense might not be a pushover, but the season opener was still sluggish for the Ravens offense with only three points and three first downs on their first five possessions. But with the Jets offense posing no threat, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens settled in for an easy victory as Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman combined for three touchdown catches and 113 receiving yards. However, the specter of Jackson’s contract — and the anonymous sourcing of the terms offered/turned down — figures to loom all season. For instance, will Jackson be less willing to run than in years past in order to avoid injury? He carried the ball only six times for 17 yards in the opener.
NFL.com: 6 (Previous: 10)
The Ravens weren’t able to run the ball much in their season opener, but consider it a positive sign that didn’t doom their attack in a convincing win over the Jets. Lamar Jackson was on target as a passer, connecting on three scores — two to Devin Duvernay, who delivered an intriguing performance for a team in need of playmakers. Baltimore’s defense dominated, routinely collapsing the pocket on old friend Joe Flacco. When the Jets did move the ball, the Ravens bowed up near midfield and forced timely turnovers. They won’t all be this easy, but this was a nice start for Baltimore after the bitter frustrations of 2021.
ESPN: 6 (Previous: 9)
Rookie who stood out: P Jordan Stout
Stout, the first punter selected in this year’s draft, is living up to the hype. He helped the Ravens win the field-position battle by averaging 48.5 yards on six punts and placing half of them inside the 20-yard line. There is a lot of pressure on Stout, who is replacing the longest-tenured player in franchise history (Sam Koch). But Stout proved to be the team’s most consistent rookie, outshining first-round picks Tyler Linderbaum and Kyle Hamilton as well as preseason sensation Isaiah Likely.
NBC Sports: 6 (Previous: 12)
Yes, it was the Jets. But they look like they’re ready to contend.
MMQB: 4 (Previous: 9)
Lamar Jackson barely needed the ground game to edge past the Jets. Imagine what this looks like when the whole operation gets rolling. The Ravens’ defense already appears in midseason form.
Sporting News: 5 (Previous: 6)
The Ravens didn’t have their running game working with Lamar Jackson and without J.K. Dobbins, but they overcompensated with the contract-chasing Jackson lighting up the Jets through the air and the defense going back to looking downright dominant.
Yahoo Sports: 5 (Previous 6)
It was interesting to see Devin Duvernay, a 2020 third-round pick, emerge with a two-touchdown game. Rashod Bateman showed up as well with a long touchdown. Maybe the Ravens’ receiver situation won’t be that bad. But they do need more out of their running backs, whether it’s the veterans on hand or J.K. Dobbins returning soon from injury.
Yahoo Sports: 8 (Previous: 16)
It wasn’t always pretty against the Jets, but Lamar Jackson got it going in the second half. It will get a lot tougher for this offense going forward.
The Ringer: 7 (Previous: 8)
From: Austin Gayle
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens beat up on the Jets’ secondary to cruise to a 24-9 win in Week 1, but a stifled rushing attack and mounting injuries remain a concern. Without running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, and offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore averaged just 3 yards per carry with Kenyan Drake as its lead rusher (31 yards). Offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James, who started in place of Stanley, and cornerback Kyle Fuller will miss the rest of the season after suffering season-ending injuries in Week 1. (For James, the Achilles tendon injury is especially heartbreaking. Injuries limited him to three games with the Broncos in 2019, he opted out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns, and then tore his Achilles while training in the 2021 offseason. Sunday’s game in New York was only his fourth game since 2018.) The Ravens need to stay healthy and run the football effectively if they’re going to be Super Bowl contenders, and we just haven’t seen either ring true yet.