The Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets would normally be just a typical season opener to start the year between two conference foes.
While the two teams have rarely been at odds with each other on a week-to-week basis, there is an added bonus to the season opener at MetLife Stadium.
Joe Flacco is Baltimore’s all-time leader in almost every passing statistic. Passing yards, touchdowns, wins and a Super Bowl MVP have all been accomplished by the former Delaware standout. While Flacco’s end in Baltimore was less than ideal, the playoff runs early, and midway through his career are not something that can’t be forgotten in Baltimore history.
But Flacco has been gone for three years now, and his successor and the club are set to take on the aging quarterback for the first time in his career.
Here’s all you need to know about the visiting Ravens squad.
2021 Record: 8-9
Offensive Ranking: 6th
Defensive Ranking: 25th
Head Coach: John Harbaugh
Offensive Coordinator: Greg Roman
Defensive Coordinator: Mike MacDonald
Special Teams Coordinator: Chris Horton
Lamar Jackson is a former league MVP and has continuously shown his growth as an overall passer since coming out of college as a Heisman Trophy winner. Yet there is a reason the Ravens have not come to an agreement on a lucrative contract extension with their quarterback. Jackson has won just one playoff game and is coming off an injury-plagued season. While the talent is certainly there, a scrambling quarterback with injury concerns comes with the territory. It also doesn’t help that the Ravens gave away Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to Arizona and are relying on unproven players like Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay to man most of the passing attack. Tyler Linderbaum was a solid addition to the OL in the draft but is already having some injury concerns. The Ravens will go as far as Lamar Jackson goes, but that is also dependent on the overall health of the quarterback. When healthy, this team is a playoff unit.
2021 was an odd year for the Baltimore defense. The secondary became decimated with injuries that cost the team wins late in the season. Outside of injuries, there is still plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Marcus Peters, Marcus Williams, Marlon Humphrey, and Kyle Hamilton are expected to compose one of the best secondaries in football at full strength, but the front seven will need young players to step up. Calais Campbell is an older veteran who is solid, but Odafe Oweh and Justin Houston will need to show more in 2022. Baltimore’s defense will cause problems for a lot of teams, but the injury concerns for aging stars can’t be understated.
The Ravens boast the league’s best kicker in Justin Tucker. Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history and is a big reason why Baltimore continues to be strong on special teams. Devin Duvernay is expected to be a solid returner in both punts and kick coverages. Baltimore’s special team group is one of the best in the league and the expectation will be that those players will continue the dominance throughout 2022.
Questionable: JK Dobbins, Marcus Peters, Travis Jones, Ronnie Stanley
IR: David Ojabo, Daelin Hayes, Charlie Hayes
PUP List: Gus Edwards
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