This time, it’s not just Lamar Jackson. The Baltimore Ravens were recently snubbed from one NFL pundit’s “complete” NFL team list, and we’re scratching our heads wondering why.
While most in the league would agree the Ravens enjoyed an incredibly successful offseason, Baltimore still isn’t considered playoff heavyweights and have both boom and bust potential in 2022.
Still, the Ravens have put together a stacked roster heading into the season and by all accounts should be considered a “complete” team.
NFL’s Marc Ross listed five teams he believed fit the criteria for “completeness”: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and Denver Broncos.
He also named a few honorable mentions, including two AFC North teams: the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns.
Where are the Baltimore Ravens?
No one will argue with the Bucs, Bills, and Chiefs being named as the overall best teams in the league, but it’s difficult to understand why the Bengals and Browns get a nod while the Ravens don’t get mentioned at all.
Baltimore Ravens get disrespected in uber-competitive league standings
The Browns have their quarterback for the next few years in Deshaun Watson, but Watson is two years removed from his last NFL game and may still be slapped with a suspension.
On top of that, Cleveland has just an average wide receiver room with Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones, and their new-look passing offense, one that struggled mightily under Baker Mayfield, has yet to be seen in action.
The Bengals’ place in the standings makes more sense as Joe Burrow and a young and talented Cincy side just came off a Super Bowl run in 2021.
Cincinnati’s offense is “complete” with both a strong rushing and passing attack, but their defense – namely, their cornerback room – could still be improved and has minor holes to address.
Compared to their division rivals, the Ravens carry the most uncertainty into 2022 given how many of their players are returning from injury, but at least those players are elite proven starters who fit well into the team’s scheme.
The only piece of Baltimore lacks is a veteran wide receiver (and perhaps a few corner reinforcements), and in truth, the Ravens’ pass-catching corps of Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche doesn’t exactly turn heads.
If the Ravens run more tight end-heavy sets, though, that won’t be a problem, and Baltimore should find plenty of success with a fully rehabilitated Lamar Jackson in 2022.
The Ravens haven’t yet earned their right to be called one of the best teams in the AFC, but within the AFC North, they can absolutely hold their own against the questionably more “complete” Bengals and Browns sides.