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The Ravens offense regressed as expected in 2020, tumbling all the way to ... seventh in scoring. It may not look like what anyone else is doing, but the Lamar Jackson-led rushing attack can hang with anyone. Just imagine how good this offense could be if the passing game clicks.      

2020 Review

Record: 11-5 (7)
PPG: 29.3 (7)
YPG: 363.1 (19)
Pass YPG: 171.2 (32)
Rush YPG: 191.9 (1)
PAPG: 25.4 (32)
RAPG: 34.7 (1)

2020 Fantasy finishes

QB: Lamar Jackson QB10
RB: J.K. Dobbins RB24; Gus Edwards RB37; Mark Ingram* RB76
WR: Marquise Brown WR36; Willie Snead* WR85
TE: Mark Andrews TE6
*No longer with team

Number to know: 422.9

The Ravens have averaged 422.9 pass attempts over the past two seasons, more than 40 fewer than the Titans, who have the second fewer pass attempts. That actually fell to 406 last season, and there are reasons to believe that will rise, mostly because there are reasons to believe the passing game as a whole will be more effective. That was the trend early last season until the Ravens doubled down on the running game down the stretch in a series of easy wins. This will never be a high-volume passing game, but with the additions the Ravens have made to the WR room, expect them to hit the over on both last year's number and their average over the past two. 

2020 Offseason

Draft Picks 

1. (27) Rashod Bateman, WR
1. (31) Odafe Oweh, DE
3. (94) Ben Cleveland, OL
3. (104) Brandon Stephens, CB
4. (131) Tylan Wallace, WR
5. (160) Shaun Wade, CB
5. (171) Daelin Hayes, DL
5. (184) Ben Mason, FB

Additions

WR Sammy Watkins, TE Josh Oliver, OL Kevin Zeitler, LB Tyus Bowser, DE Derek Wolfe

Key Departures

RB Mark Ingram, WR Willie Snead, LB Matthew Judon, LB Yannick Ngakoue, LB Jihad Ward

Available Opportunity 

72 carries, 8 RB targets, 59 WR targets, 3 TE targets 

Rankings and projections

Award
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Jamey Eisenberg
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Dave Richard
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Heath Cummings
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Chris Towers
Lamar Jackson3423
J.K. Dobbins19171922
Gus Edwards45395050
Marquise Brown42344446
Rashod BatemanNRNR5657
Sammy WatkinsNRNRNRNR
Mark Andrews5444

Chris Towers' projections

QBLamar JacksonPA: 461, YD: 3456, TD: 29, INT: 10; RUSH -- ATT: 154, YD: 921, TD: 7
RBJ.K. DobbinsCAR: 261, YD: 1295, TD: 9; TAR: 37, REC: 26, YD: 206, TD: 1
RBGus EdwardsCAR: 154, YD: 768, TD: 6; TAR: 14, REC: 9, YD: 67, TD: 0
WRMarquise BrownTAR: 97, REC: 63, YD: 799, TD: 7
WRRashod BatemanTAR: 83, REC: 54, YD: 766, TD: 5
WRSammy WatkinsTAR: 65, REC: 40, YD: 480, TD: 3
TEMark AndrewsTAR: 106, REC: 70, YD: 874, TD: 8

Biggest Question

Will the additions to the passing game help Lamar Jackson make a leap?

The narrative around Jackson, that he needs to take a significant step forward as a passer, is overblown. He has established himself as a very, very good NFL quarterback, and he's done it with some pretty middling receiving help. However, there have been times when the Ravens needed to chase points and couldn't quite do it through the passing game. The Ravens could really use a true No. 1 who can win consistently when they need to move the ball, and the hope is Rashod Bateman can fill that role. Sammy Watkins also provides a bigger body who can still stretch the field. Is this the best receiving corps in the NFL? No, but it's the most talented one Jackson has played with, which should help him find more consistency as a passer. But as long as he's still running for 1,000 yards, any improvement from the passing game is a bonus. 

2021 Previews: Bills | Cardinals

One sleeper, one breakout and one bust

Sleeper
BAL Baltimore • #35
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
2020 Stats
RUYDS
723
REC
9
REYDS
129
TD
6
FPTS/G
8

Edwards is just a backup, and even if he did become the starter, he wouldn't have a ton of upside given his lack of usage in the passing game. I get it, he's boring. But he's been incredibly efficient in Baltimore's offense and figures to have a consistent role even with Dobbins taking the lead. He's not a weekly starter for your Fantasy team, but he's going to get 7-10 carries most weeks and will score more touchdowns than those of you who draft Dobbins will want to see. As a bench RB in the middle rounds, Edwards is a solid value and a great player to have around for bye weeks and injuries. 

Breakout
BAL Baltimore • #5
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2020 Stats
REC
58
TAR
100
REYDS
769
TD
8
FPTS/G
11.4

How can Brown be a breakout candidate when he has more competition for targets than ever? Well, for one thing, I think the Ravens are going to throw more this season. And for another, I think he was probably a lot better than you remember last season. Brown was awful for the first 11 weeks, to be clear -- four games with fewer than 20 yards, only 43.1 per game overall. However, over his final eight, including the playoffs, Brown had 534 yards and six touchdowns on 37 catches, as those deep targets he was earning all season long finally started to connect. Freed from having to be the focus of defensive attention on the outside, Brown should be even more efficient in 2021, and while I think he'll be a frustrating weekly starter, a career-best year wouldn't be out of the question. 

Bust
BAL Baltimore • #27
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
2020 Stats
RUYDS
805
REC
18
REYDS
120
TD
9
FPTS/G
11.2

I think Dobbins has a very high floor in this offense, but I get the sense many view him as a high-ceiling back, and that's harder for me to see. The Ravens are going to run the ball a ton, but it'll be split at least three ways with Edwards and Jackson both getting their fair share. Historically, that hasn't left a ton of carries for the No. 1 RB. Since the start of 2019, Ravens running backs have had 15 carries in a game just 12 times. Dobbins' first came in Week 8, when his snap share spiked to 66%, representing the start of his run as the lead back for the Ravens, more or less. He had one other 15-carry game, and despite playing over 50% of the snaps in each of his final six games (including the playoffs) he averaged 11.6 carries per game. I'll take the over on that for 2021, but I would be pretty surprised if he averaged much more than 15 per game.

Maybe he'll rush for 6.0 yards per carry and a touchdown 14.9 carries like he did as a rookie, but smart money is on some regression there. And he won't have much of a role in the passing game with Jackson as his QB. There's a lot to like about Dobbins the player, but to draft him as a mid-to-high-end No. 2 running back, you have to assume historic efficiency. If he doesn't do that, you're likely to be disappointed.