It’s that time of year again. It’s time for the three burning questions series. Last season this series was divided up into the eight NFL divisions. This season each team will be spotlighted individually. Here are three burning questions for the Baltimore Ravens.
Will the reigning MVP stave off the Madden Curse?
Lamar Jackson will be looking to become the latest exception to the “Madden curse” rule. While only the select few get the honor to grace the cover of the only NFL-licensed video game, some have seen their next season end due to a freak injury or just have a statistically bad season. Jackson’s MVP-winning season and the ease that he was able to dice opposing defenses seemingly at will, makes it a safe bet that he will not fall victim to the “curse”. Although teams, especially those in the AFC North, may be able to slow him down more, he should be expected to yield similar results to last season.
Will the defense still be among the league’s elite?
A defensive unit that has been consistently among the best in the league added veteran defensive end, Calais Campbell, in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars. They also added former Broncos defensive tackle Derek Wolfe in free agency. Those two guys make this defensive front one of the best pass-rushing units in football. Combine that with Matthew Judon and first-round draft pick Patrick Queen from LSU and the front seven is about as complete a unit and one will find around the league. On top of that, Baltimore boasts a secondary that includes Earl Thomas, Marcus Peters, and Marlon Humphrey. This defense will cause offensive coordinators a few sleepless nights during the week leading up to playing this team.
Will Harbaugh coach differently in 2020?
The decision by John Harbaugh to sit Jackson and many of the starters for the meaningless season finale against the Steelers played a large part in the Ravens once again being one and done in the playoffs. While the decision was smart on one hand to avoid unnecessary hits and injuries, a team that was in such a rhythm throughout the regular season ultimately went three weeks without game action.
They came out rusty in the divisional-round matchup against the Tennessee Titans, and before they got into any rhythm offensively they were behind on the scoreboard, and they weren’t able to overcome it.
If this season plays out in a similar fashion, one can only assume that Harbaugh will think long and hard about making the same decision this time around.