If you are a fan of a high-powered passing offence, the Ravens aren’t for you. It’s likely no team will run the ball more this season as that was the case in 2018.
Some thought that Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was squarely on the hot seat entering the 2018 season even though he won the Super Bowl with the team following the 2012 campaign. The problem was that the Ravens had reached the playoffs just once since, in 2014. When Baltimore was 4-5 last season, it looked like Harbaugh’s fate was sealed. However, then starting quarterback Joe Flacco went down injured and rookie Lamar Jackson, the former Heisman winner, took over and changed everything.
The Ravens closed on a 6-1 run, winning in Week 17 over Cleveland to claim the AFC North title for the first time since that Super Bowl season. Baltimore was dominated in a home Wild-Card loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, but Harbaugh got his contract extension.
Baltimore Ravens Acquisitions and Transactions
The big off-season move was trading quarterback and former Super Bowl MVP Flacco to the Broncos in what was basically a salary dump and to make it clear this was Jackson’s team going forward. It was time for a change as Flacco had been one of the NFL’s worst quarterbacks since that amazing run in the playoffs following the 2012 season – one of the best post-seasons by any quarterback ever.
Baltimore also lost four excellent defensive players in free agency in linebackers C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith as well as safety Eric Weddle. The Ravens aren’t usually all that active in free agency but signed former Seahawks safety Earl Thomas and ex-Saints running back Mark Ingram. They used their first-round pick on Oklahoma receiver Marquise Brown.
Baltimore Ravens 2019 NFL Schedule
Baltimore is tied for the 19th-toughest schedule in the NFL with its opponents combining for a .496 winning percentage last season. Incredibly unusual that the Ravens don’t have back-to-back games either at home or on the road. All times listed in ET.
Week 1 (Sept. 8): at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Week 2 (Sept. 15): vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1 p.m. (Fox)
Week 3 (Sept. 22): at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Week 4 (Sept. 29): vs. Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Week 5 (Oct. 6): at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Week 6 (Oct. 13): vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Week 7 (Oct. 20): at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. (Fox)
Week 8: BYE
Week 9 (Nov. 3): vs. New England Patriots, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Week 10 (Nov. 10): at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Week 11 (Nov. 17): vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Week 12 (Nov. 25): at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 13 (Dec. 1): vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1 p.m. (Fox)
Week 14 (Dec. 8): at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Week 15 (Dec. 12): vs. NY Jets, 8:20 p.m. (Fox/NFL Network)
Week 16 (Dec. 22): at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Week 17 (Dec. 29): vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Baltimore Ravens NFL Betting and Odds
One quick aside: Don’t ever bet against Harbaugh in the pre-season – the Ravens are just insanely good in the games that don’t count under him. The Ravens have a win total of 8.5, with the under a -139 favourite. They are +175 to make the playoffs and -250 to miss. Baltimore is +260 to repeat in the AFC North +1600 for the AFC title and +3300 to win the Super Bowl. Last year, this team was 8-9 against the spread when including the playoff game.
Schedule-wise, the Ravens get a couple of breaks with two teams in the Pacific Time Zone, Arizona and San Francisco, visiting in the 1 p.m. ET window. That’s always very tough on West Coast clubs. The Ravens also have two West Coast trips, though. The Ravens are just the fourth team since the NFL switched to a 16-game schedule in 1978 to receive a perfectly balanced schedule (i.e. no back-to-back on road or at home). The Week 8 bye is ideal.
Baltimore Ravens Prediction
If you are a fan of a high-powered passing offence, the Ravens aren’t for you. It’s likely no team will run the ball more this season as that was the case in 2018. When Jackson took over under center, the Ravens became an old-school offence. In fact, he set an NFL record for a quarterback with 147 carries despite not even starting until Week 11. Earlier this summer, Harbaugh was given a number of 160 carries for Jackson in 2019 and said: “take the over.” Jackson is a very inaccurate passer still and has weak group of receivers. Adding Ingram just reinforces the ground-and-pound offence.
The Ravens’ defence, one of the NFL’s best last year, also has taken a big hit as cornerback Tavon Young could miss all of 2019 with a neck injury suffered in practice. He got a big extension back in February. Baltimore is deep in the secondary but that will hurt. We like a 9-7 record so go over that win total, but the Ravens will just miss out on the playoffs.