5 strengths and weaknesses for the Baltimore Ravens heading into the 2021-22 season

Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
Ian Van Roy

The Baltimore Ravens are one of the new perennial powerhouses in the NFL. Ever since magician Lamar Jackson deposed stoic Joe Flacco, the Ravens have been winning football games aplenty.

However, the Ravens want more. They have plenty of strengths to lean on, but some weaknesses remain. Here are five strengths and weaknesses for the Baltimore Ravens going into 2021.

Baltimore Ravens strengths

#1 - Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson is electric. A recent Sportskeeda analysis showed that he has dwarfed his comparable twin Michael Vick in terms of performances since being drafted. Last season, Jackson threw for 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also ran for over 1000 yards and seven touchdowns. Jackson is the face of the Ravens and the team will rely on him to lead the team to their third Super Bowl title.

#2 - J.K. Dobbins

In his rookie season, J.K. Dobbins was perfectly serviceable. He earned over 800 yards and nine touchdowns. However, rookies tend to reach a new level in their second season. If JK Dobbins finds new gear in 2021, the Ravens will be a force on the ground.

#3 - Marquise Brown

Marquise Brown is a solid receiver who adds another dimension to the Ravens' offense. In 2020, Brown earned 769 yards and eight touchdowns. Without Brown, the Ravens' passing game could get bottled up as defenses zero in on Sammy Watkins and lock him down.

#4 - Sammy Watkins

On his own, Sammy Watkins is not the same receiver he has been in the past. However, sprinkled into an already solid receiving corps, Watkins will be a great depth piece who could confuse defenses when he's open in random spots on the field.

#5 - Alejandro Villanueva

How the Ravens were able to land the face of the Steelers' offensive line is beyond anyone's best guess. However, it does not diminish the fact that he will show up on game days wearing purple. Last season, Villanueva played almost 1100 snaps, drew only four penalties and allowed only three sacks.

Baltimore Ravens weaknesses

#1 - Backup QB

If Lamar Jackson fails to finish the season for any reason, the Ravens' season is basically over. Currently, their backup is Trace McSorely. He was seen briefly last season and failed to impress. He seemed a bit out of his element as he completed only 30 percent of his passes.

#2 - Derek Wolfe

Derek Wolfe was one of the noteworthy pass rushers on the 2015 Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos. However, that was a long time ago. Derek Wolfe is now 31 and facing a dropoff at any moment. If a dropoff occurs this season, the Ravens will feel it.

#3 - Tough Division

Last season, three of the four teams in the AFC North made the playoffs. This season, all four teams look capable of making it to the playoffs. Between the perennially solid Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baker Mayfield-led Cleveland Browns, and the optimistic Cincinnati Bengals, the AFC North is full of potentially equal opponents in 2021.

#4 - Depth at tight end

The Ravens know they have a solid roster when one of their top weaknesses is their depth at tight end. To be clear, Mark Andrews is a solid starting tight end. But behind Andrews, there's Nick Boyle, who is coming off a season in which he earned only about 100 yards. Put simply, if Andrews gets hurt, the tight end position will become desolate.

Mark Andrews
Mark Andrews

#5 - Jimmy Smith's age

Jimmy Smith has been a cornerstone of the Ravens' secondary for most of his career. Last season, Smith earned a 74.6 PFF grade. At 32, Smith doesn't have much left in the tank. If he falls off a cliff this season, the Ravens will feel the drop.

Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar

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