Part of the drama surrounding the Baltimore Ravens has subsided now that Lamar Jackson has shown up at OTAs. While Jackson has not inked a new deal yet, the media must find new topics to talk about. The Ravens have also parted ways with Derek Wolfe. Wolfe had a solid season in 2020, but he missed all of 2021 with injury. He and the team reached an injury settlement, but the Travis Jones pick looks like even more of a necessity with Wolfe gone and Michael Pierce dealing with personal issues. With that said, here are four bold predictions for the Ravens this season.
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First Team with Two 1,000-Yard Rushers and One 1,000-Yard Receiver
The Ravens are one of seven teams to achieve the first half of this prediction. In 2019, Jackson and Mark Ingram eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards. For the 2022 squad, Jackson is a shoo-in (health permitting), and J.K. Dobbins is the easy second option. Gus Edwards could eat into Dobbins’ workload, but Dobbins is incredibly efficient with his touches. To satisfy the second part, the Ravens need Mark Andrews to replicate his 1,000-yard effort from 2021. Last year, the Ravens produced two 1,000-yard receivers, a much more common occurrence. If they split the difference in 2022, they can make history. The 2009 Carolina Panthers fell 18 yards short of this club as Steve Smith posted 982 receiving yards.
Rashod Bateman Catches 10 Touchdowns
The Ravens have just three 10-touchdown seasons by wideouts in their 26-year history. Michael Jackson struck for 14 in the franchise’s inaugural season in 1996. Torrey Smith scored 11 for the 2014 team. The aforementioned Andrews posted 10 in 2019. Bateman only scored one in his rookie season, but he is moving up in the pecking order after Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was traded. Brown scored 21 touchdowns in three seasons, maxing out with eight in 2020. However, Brown did have a stretch between 2020 and 2021 when he caught 13 touchdowns in 17 games. Bateman profiles as a more prolific red-zone threat, so he could find his way to 10 touchdowns especially if teams double-team Andrews.
Marcus Williams Makes First-Team All-Pro
Williams has made a pair of seasons as PFF 2nd-Team All-Pro, but this could be the year he breaks through. Williams slots in as Baltimore’s free safety in a potentially loaded unit. Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters are coming off season-ending injuries, and Kyle Hamilton is a rookie. If the Ravens return to having an elite secondary, Williams could be seen as a catalyst much in the same way as Peters was for the 2019 team. In 2019, the Ravens had two All-Pros in the secondary, and Earl Thomas made the Pro Bowl. The 2022 secondary could be even better.
Odafe Oweh Records 10 Sacks
Oweh had five sacks in 15 games in his rookie season. However, the most encouraging sign is his pressure production. Oweh had five different games with at least five pressures, plus a trio of games with four or more. For context, his 49 pressures were more than eight players who had 10 sacks (by PFF’s count). Pressures often translate year over year, so if Oweh gets better luck in accumulating sacks, he could find his way to 10. Of the 35 players to have 49 pressures, he ranked 33rd in sack percentage. The average sack rate on pressures in that cohort was 17 percent; Oweh barely cracked 10 percent. With progression to the mean, Oweh will be in play for 10 sacks.
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