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Are the Ravens the ‘Sleeping Giant’ in the AFC?

Despite having a former unanimous league MVP under center, the team has been flying under the radar compared to some of the other top contenders in the conference.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Professional sports teams with a former league MVP still in their prime are rarely overlooked, especially in the NFL.

However, with an AFC loaded with playoff and championship contenders, and all eyes on the favorites, the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills and reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, that seems to be what is happening with the Baltimore Ravens ahead of the 2023 season.

On Wednesday, Good Morning Football hosts Peter Schrager and Jason McCourty debated that topic in a segment on their morning talk show.

McCourty refuted the narrative on the grounds that they have a happy, healthy and handsomely paid Lamar Jackson and that we should all “expect great things.” He opted instead to label the Cleveland Browns as the AFC’s sleeping giant.

While McCourty and Shrager both agreed the AFC North as a whole is really good, Schrager stuck with the Ravens as his pick for the proverbial sleeping giant in the AFC.

“The Ravens had a great season and did that without Roquan Smith for the full season, they did that without Odell Beckham, they did that without Lamar Jackson for most of the year, and I love the rookie Zay Flowers and what else they brought,” Schrager said.

He went on the praise the team for bringing in Todd Monken to replace Greg Roman as offensive coordinator and expressed his excitement for what that could mean Jackson and offense as a whole.

“When you say sleeping giant its like we talk about the Chiefs, we talk about the Bengals, we talk about the Bills, (but) who is that fourth team this year?,” Schrager said. “I think it could be the Ravens.”

Even though they have Jackson and several other prominent players on both sides of the ball, because they’re “not getting a ton of buzz,” he believes that the Ravens accurately fit the bill of sleeping giant.

Bringing in new outside linebackers coach Chuck Smith, new wide receivers coach Greg Lewis, and new defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson will expedite the development of several of the teams young players that will be counted on to step up and produce in bigger roles this season. They will be instrumental in the potential break out season for Flowers, second-year safety Kyle Hamilton, and outside linebackers David Ojabo and Odafe Oweh.