The Baltimore Ravens Season Recap

Morgan Henschen, Reporter

The Baltimore Ravens have officially ended their regular season with a record of 10-7.

On January 8, Baltimore suffered a 27-16 away-game loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens look forward to entering the playoffs in a big Sunday night rematch against the Bengals on January 15.

Notable players who helped the Ravens through this season include: Quarterback Lamar Jackson, Tight-end Mark Andrews, Cornerback Marlon Humphrey, Defensive-end Justin Houston, and Kicker Justin Tucker.

The Baltimore running core and offensive line tremendously helped them, as they are a run-heavy football team.

The regular season for the Ravens featured many obstacles regarding injuries, coaching issues, and financial problems. 

Baltimore opened up their season with a shaky, but promising start. Their first game, facing the New York Jets, showed fans that this was a new and improved team prior to the 2021 season. 

This 24-9 win presented both offensive and defensive dominance, as they stopped New York on many possessions and stampeded down the field on offense.

Following this win, the Ravens struggled to maintain momentum to go on a winning streak. They also showcased many games in which they were leading by many points going into the second half, but weren’t able to finish these winnable games in the end. 

Baltimore would go 1-2 over the next three games, beating the Patriots, but losing to the Dolphins and Bills.

During this Bills game, Ravens top Wide-receiver Rashod Bateman suffered a Lisfranc injury, which is a joint that connects the toes to the foot.

This injury sparked a struggle to the Ravens passing game immensely, as they do not have a strong wide-receiver core.

Baltimore then added free agent receivers to their offense, with the likes of Deshaun Jackson, and former Raven Sammy Watkins to aid with this injury. 

To progress through their season, the Ravens would go 5-2 over the next seven games, stringing together many defensive-led games for them to win.

Baltimore defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New Orleans Saints, showing the league how capable they are of winning even without a strong passing game.

The Ravens would lose to the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars, both games in which they led by ten or more points in the fourth quarter. 

This concerned many fans of the team, as they were unsure how reliable Baltimore would be to close out games. 

Baltimore’s record was then 7-4, putting them in a good spot if they were to continue with their success to make the playoffs.

Through these seven games, players like running back Kenyan Drake, rookie tight-end Isaiah Likely, and linebacker Patrick Queen showed several glimpses of their true potential and talent.

Following these games, Baltimore would go on to play against the Denver Broncos, in which star Quarterback Lamar Jackson injured his knee early in the game, thus removing him from the rest of the regular season.

This was a devastating injury to the Ravens, as Jackson was the main reason why the offense flowed so well. His elusiveness and capability to make crucial, difficult plays completed the Ravens offense.

The injury also puts the Ravens front office (who controls players’ contracts and new signings) at a standstill in renewing/ extending Jackson’s contract.

It makes them weary regarding the extension of his rookie contract, as he is approximately prompting a $230 million, four-year deal with the Ravens.

The front office is hesitant to agree to a deal similar to this, as Jackson has been injured frequently in the past, and they aren’t sure how far he can truly take this team to a Super Bowl.

Disregarding the financial aspect of football, Baltimore went on to win this game even with this setback, as backup Quarterback Tyler Huntley replaced Jackson, and the defense made many stops to finish the game 10-9.

The Raven offense struggled heavily through the next five games, not once scoring over 17 points in a game. Prior to Jackson’s injury, Baltimore had scored 17 or more points ten times, which greatly shows the pro-bowl quarterback’s importance.

During this five game span, Baltimore would go 2-3, beating their rival conference opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers, and NFC opponent Atlanta Falcons. They lost these three games to the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and Pittsburgh, in a rematch between the two.

Huntley also suffered an injury, which forced the third string Quarterback Anthony Brown to step in.

Crippled with injuries the Ravens were missing most of their team: safety Marcus Williams, Cornerback Marcus Williams, Running Back JK Dobbins, and many more had gotten hurt.

These players, including Jackson, are likely to return in time for their playoff game against Cincinnati, but may show signs of uncomfortability as they haven’t played much recently.

The Ravens had a rough, but promising and hopeful season. Injuries made this team suffer greatly, as is evident in their  record without key players who got injured.

Baltimore looks forward to a semi-fully healthy roster for their playoff game, and will hope to win their third matchup against Cincinnati, as they are currently 1-1 this year against each other.