Baltimore Ravens start 2022 with mainly inexperienced receivers

If you correctly identify the Rashod Bateman (r.) and James Proche II (l.) wide receivers of the Ravens, you're probably from Baltimore.

If you correctly identify the Rashod Bateman (r.) and James Proche II (l.) wide receivers of the Ravens, you’re probably from Baltimore.
image: AP

Baltimore Raven released First official depth chart for 2022 five days ago. It lists 12 wide receivers. Together, those dozens of receivers combined for 1,227 career yards of reception. Congratulations! That total would make the Ravens’ entire 2022 studio-wide career the Ravens’ all-time top receiver (not including tight endings) in one season, giving them plenty of money. more than 26 yards Michael Jackson was available in 1996.

In 2021 alone, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scored 1,684 yards of passes (and therefore received yards as well) in the second quarter alone. They also scored 1,239 passes in the fourth quarter. In fact, there were 18 teams had more yards received in a quarter of their games than Raven’s receiving team over their entire career.

The last time a team had less than 1,227 yards in a season was 1973 when both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills accomplished that feat, though both of those teams still scored more passes (eight for the Bears; four for the Bills) than Raven’s receiving team during their careers (three). ).

Only two receivers on this team have played in an NFL game before 2021. They are the most inexperienced passing weaponry in the NFL. The question is “Does this lack of experience matter?” And as for Raven, I doubt it. Aside from Mark Andrews, who clearly has a lot of experience and hit 1,300 yards last season alone, the Ravens have never been a team that relies too much on their receivers. They are the only team with the all-time top scoring performance in a season less than 1,300 yards. Raven has always been the front runner, and with both JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards returning in 2022, there’s no reason to think John Harbaugh and company won’t rely more on the track. I don’t think it would take much of a leap to say that Raven can hold the ball for 60% of their games.

Prior to 2021, Baltimore was leading the league in annual play rate with Lamar Jackson as the starter. In 2019, they controlled the ball 57.5% of the matches. The next closest team is the San Francisco 49ers, with 51% possession. In Year 2020, that number rose to 57.8% for Raven. The Patriots are the next closest team with 53.3% as they scramble to figure out how to execute the offensive behavior without Tom Brady.

When fully healthy, the Ravens will have not only their youngest, and most talented, backfield with Jackson at quarterback (yes, I think Edwards and Dobbins are more talented than 30-year-old Mark Ingram and Edwards) but also their least experienced receivers. That is a prime situation for a team that has leaned on the run game for their entire history.

The Ravens may not have had the most efficient rushing attack in the NFL last season, but on designed run plays, they still were able to manage 3.1 meters before contact. That’s the sign of a great run blocking attack line. They added arguably the best center from this year’s draft class in Tyler Linderbaum to that line. That efficiency will only increase with a better backline and better upline. That will open up the play action and will create more space in the midfield as defenders will be more likely to bite into the fakes.

No matter how inexperienced you are a receiver, the space created by an effective dummy act will give you enough space to take in as long as you beat your man. The Ravens’ receivers aren’t slow, so if the team can play offensively and set up a run early, often, and effectively, that’s when the team’s receivers will have a chance to shine.

Crows are going against the way they have built their team. I like to assume that they believe Jackson will be their future quarterback for many years to come. However, where most teams could consider their young, franchised, MVP-winning quarterback and try to build around him, Raven is building their game plan instead. surname. Joe Burrow was awarded Ja’Marr Chase. Justin Herbert was given to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Tua Tagovailoa was given to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Josh Allen has Stefon Diggs. Jackson is on tight ends, several defenders and a guy with potential that we haven’t seen due to injuries during his rookie season.

It’s a bold strategy, and 2022 will be the year that determines how the Ravens will help Jackson in the future. If the team’s offense goes well, they probably don’t have to spend so much money on big-name receivers in free agency. Maybe they can keep building the defense and O-line in the draft time. However, if their offense falters, they’ll need to add a proven vet to their receptive corps before I’m ready to call them adversaries. Maybe that’s why Raven hasn’t renewed Jackson yet. Perhaps they wanted to see if he could commit the offense without having to pay a top receiver as the market for such players has exploded over the past few years. It was a very risky move, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it blew up in their faces if the team and Jackson didn’t come to an agreement before he entered the post-season free agency market.

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