Analyst: Ravens Have Nightmare Scenario at Tight End

The Baltimore Ravens have the rare luxury of two capable receiving tight ends.
Jan 1, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens tight end Isaiah Likely (80) celebrates with
Jan 1, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens tight end Isaiah Likely (80) celebrates with / Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports
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The Baltimore Ravens have always been keen to embrace and even set trends in the NFL, and a new one seems to be right up their alley.

It's no secret that the NFL has become more and more pass-happy over the years, with 11 personnel (3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 RB) being extremely common to spread out defenses. However, there are some coordinators who are instead opting for 12 personnel (2 WRs, 2 TEs, 1 RB) to create more matchup problems over the entire field.

The Ravens could be leading the charge in this throwback movement of sorts, as they have not just one strong receiving tight end, but two in Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely.

"Baltimore will be able to line up in a multiple tight end set complemented by an explosive backfield pairing of a two-time NFL MVP [Lamar Jackson] and a two-time NFL rushing champ [Derrick Henry]," NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks writes. "Few opponents will possess the size, strength and physicality to deal with the Ravens' running game while also having enough athletes on the field to cover the team's dynamic pass catchers on the perimeter. The combination of personnel and tactics should keep defensive coordinators up at night when building a game plan to slow down the perennial title contenders."

Don't just take it from Brooks, though. Likely has also been on record advocating for greater use of the "electric" two tight end set.

"It's electric," Likely said on a recent episode of Up & Adams. "Not only do you have Lamar in the backfield. You have Derrick Henry in the backfield, where you also have to worry about our run game. And then you have All-Pro Mark Andrews, where you obviously have to give credit where credit is due. Then you also have our great receivers like Zay and Bateman, and you also have me. You have to worry about anybody at any point in time in the offense going the distance."

Before getting carried away, though, it's important to take note of the Baltimore's past tendencies. According to the team's site, the Ravens ran 11 personnel on 64 percent of snaps last season as offensive coordinator Todd Monken introduced a dramatically different scheme. The Ravens also made good use of 21 personnel (2 WRs, 1 TE, 2 RBs) thanks to having an All-Pro fullback in Patrick Ricard.

There's no doubt that the Ravens' 12 personnel can be incredibly scary, but it's up to them to decide how much they want to use it.

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Jon Alfano

JON ALFANO