Baltimore Ravens Could Potentially Have The Most Dangerous Passing Game In The AFC North
In terms of yardage, the Baltimore Ravens had the worst passing game of any team in the AFC North last year. Averaging just 224 yards a game, the Ravens weren’t able to generate enough from their passing game, though they definitely needed to with the stagnant running game they had. This year, however, could be very different. The Ravens will have an opportunity to not only improve their own passing game, but potentially surpass the other three division opponents in that category. What really stands out to me as important and valuable in terms of the Ravens’ pass game is the balance it will have. Quarterback Joe Flacco is obviously proven, and though he struggled some last year, a better offensive line this year will give him more protection to utilize the many weapons he’ll have.
Torrey Smith has emerged as an elite wide receiver over the past season or two. He had a breakout year last year and is coming off of career highs in both catches and yards, and he was able to do this in a year when the Ravens’ passing offense was subpar. Smith turned into Flacco’s favorite target last year and he’ll once again be a big threat heading into the season.
Steve Smith is coming off of a great preseason game against the Washington Redskins, as he recorded six catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. The veteran receiver had a bit of a down year last year, but the versatility of the Ravens’ offense could allow him to break out once again. Smith is entering his 14th NFL season, so remaining healthy will be an important factor, yet the receiver hasn’t had much history of injury as he’s played at least 14 games in each of his last nine seasons. If he’s able to continue that stretch, the Ravens may have the best receiver duo in the AFC North.
Jacoby Jones offers some depth for the Ravens and is a very solid non-primary target for Flacco. The eighth year receiver is coming off his second highest reception total of career last year, however, he only played 12 games after hurting his knee in the beginning of last season. Additionally, Jones’ ability as a returner is extremely valuable.
The Ravens will undoubtedly look to utilize their two very solid tight ends this year. Dennis Pitta only played four games last year after dislocating his hip, yet he’s back and healthy and could have the ability to put up huge numbers this year. Additionally, the acquisition of Owen Daniels will give the Ravens more depth and balance in the passing game. This two tight-end look could really help the Ravens in the red zone this season.
I believe the Ravens’ passing offense has improved quite a bit from last year. The offensive line has improved and will protect Flacco, and the additions of Smith and Daniels make their passing game much more threatening. It’s clear that Gary Kubiak is dedicated to the run game, however, I do believe Baltimore will have to rely on their ability to move the ball in the air, as they have too many weapons to not utilize frequently.