While the summer season brings much enjoyment to the average person, for an NFL fan, it represents a desolate wasteland where Sundays just aren't quite as vibrant as in the autumn months. However, with each passing day, we inch closer to the beginning of the 2023 NFL season, which officially kicks off on September 8 this year.
Whether you've had your favorite team's tweet notifications turned on all summer or if you've decided to tune out all football news entirely, you'll be able to learn everything you need to know about your team going into the 2022-23 season right here.
In today's article, I'll be discussing the Baltimore Ravens.
I'm working on season guidebooks for all 32 NFL teams, which will all be released within the next few weeks. To check out another team's guidebook, click here:
2021 Season Recap
2022 was very disappointing for Baltimore, who surprisingly collapsed at the end of the season to finish last in the AFC North. After starting 8-3 in their first 11 games, an ankle injury to QB Lamar Jackson caused the Ravens to lose their final six matchups, with all but one of those games being decided by three points or less.
Baltimore was great at both running the ball and stopping the run, but they struggled at times to pass the ball, especially when Jackson was out. They were also atrocious against the pass, finishing last in the league in average passing yards allowed per game. That weakness was more or less anticipated after the Ravens lost a few key guys in the secondary to injury before the season even started.
Significant Roster Moves
Baltimore lost a bunch of offensive skill players in the offseason, most notably WR Marquise Brown, who they traded on draft night to Arizona in exchange for a first round pick. They signed a couple receivers to add depth at the position, but it appears the Ravens feel fairly confident in their young corps from a season ago. Baltimore cycles their running backs frequently and as long as Lamar Jackson is under center, they can run the ball successfully regardless of who lines up with him in the backfield.
Safety Marcus Williams is a big addition to the secondary, while Tackle Morgan Moses was brought in to replace Alejandro Villanueva, who retired in the offseason.
2022 Draft Class
The Ravens have a loaded draft class, making 11 picks in the 2022 draft. Both of their first round picks, S Kyle Hamilton and C Tyler Linderbaum, have already cracked the starting lineup, so they really targeted their position needs early. It appears most guys they drafted this year will have an immediate impact, whether as a starter or as much needed depth across the board.
The Ravens will take on the AFC East and the NFC South in 2023 to go along with their six divisional games. Their other three opponents are the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Denver Broncos. With an opponent prior season win percentage of .474, Baltimore has the 10th easiest schedule in the NFL.
Baltimore's primetime games include a Thursday night game at Tampa Bay, a Sunday night game versus Cincinnati, and a Monday night game at New Orleans.
The Ravens return only 11 of their 22 offensive and defensive starters. However, a few players in the starting lineup to start 2022, such as RB J.K. Dobbins and CB Marcus Peters, are not technically new, as they missed all of last season with injuries. The roster turnover may be good for Baltimore as they can try for a reset in some of the positions that struggled in 2021.
Mike Macdonald rejoins the Ravens staff as Defensive Coordinator, after spending the 2021 season in the NCAA as Michigan's DC. He is a familiar face in Baltimore, coaching in the organization from 2014-2020 before his one year hiatus. John Harbaugh enters his 15th season as head coach of the Ravens and the remaining coordinator jobs remain the same from a season ago.
Oddsmakers have set the regular season win total for Baltimore at 9.5. As of right now, the Ravens are the most likely team to win the AFC North and the fifth most likely team to win the AFC. At +2200 to win the 2023 Super Bowl, they are tied for 10th among all teams in the league.
Bucket Squad Predictions
I'm picking Baltimore to finish a game behind Cincinnati for 2nd in the AFC North. Due to Lamar Jackson's propensity for injury, it's hard for me to trust in Baltimore long-term for the entirety of the season. While I think the Ravens will have a solid season, they'll be on the playoff bubble toward the end of the year, and I believe they'll just miss out on the postseason for the second straight year.
What do you think? Will Baltimore be better or worse than I'm projecting? What offseason moves made by the Ravens surprised you the most? Leave a comment down below and be sure to check the "NFL" section of the website for more NFL team guidebooks as I finish them.
Written by Nick Swatson