The Baltimore Ravens have been a pleasant surprise, claiming the top spot in the AFC and a first-round playoff bye. They enter Week 17 having won 11 straight contests and appear more prepared for the postseason than they were last year. But that doesn’t mean the addition of certain pieces can’t make them even better in 2020.
Lamar Jackson has emerged into the face of the NFL this year thanks to his improved throwing, elusiveness, and speed as a dual-threat quarterback. Teams have basically no idea how to defend him in the offense Baltimore has built, and the system could be even more dangerous if Baltimore makes the right moves this offseason.
The Ravens have a strong run defense, but have lost their reputation for having an elite pass rush. Since the departure of greats like Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, Baltimore hasn’t had a notable defensive captain manning the front line. Bringing aboard an elite pass rusher, whether it be a linebacker or defensive lineman, will be important.
When you have a quarterback that is as dynamic of a runner as Jackson, you don’t really need elite receivers to be successful. It doesn’t appear like one of Jackson’s receivers or tight ends will eclipse 1,000 receiving yards. Adding a more polished wideout to the team’s receiving corps could would only increase Baltimore’s capabilities. This isn’t a knock against Marquise Brown or Mark Andrews, but bringing in a new face could open the offense up even more.
The 2019 NFL season is coming to a close and while the playoffs are just arriving, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2020. We won’t know the full regular season schedule until April, but even with the 2019 season not finished, we know each team’s list of opponents. The NFL has a formula they use to determine opponents, with divisions and conferences rotating each year.
The Ravens face their divisional opponents a total of six times. The AFC North faces the AFC South, which adds four more opponents. The AFC North faces the NFC East, which adds four more opponents. The final two opponents are the teams that finish in the same standing position in the AFC West and AFC East.