Oddsmakers Expect Ravens to Make A Deep Playoff Run Next Season
Fans should not jump off the Baltimore Ravens' bandwagon just yet.
Despite an abbreviated playoff run this year, oddsmakers expect the Ravens to contend for a Super Bowl title next season.
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has the Ravens at 7-1 odd to reach the Super Bowl, one notch behind the Kansas City Chiefs (6-1). The San Francisco 49ers are third at 8-1, followed by the Saints (11-1), Patriots (14-1) and Steelers (15-1).
Kansas City and San Francisco are the only teams on that list still alive in this year's postseason and could meet in the Super Bowl.
SuperBookUSA also has the Chiefs to win next year's Super Bowl at 7-1, followed by the 49ers (8-1), Ravens (8-1), Saints (10-1), Patriots (12-1) and Steelers (12-1).
Most of the Ravens players agreed with this assessment and expect to be back in the playoff hunt next season. Baltimore finished the 2019 season with the NFL's best record at 14-2 and won the AFC North for the second consecutive year.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson will have another full offseason to hone his skills. However, he has already established himself as one of the game's premier playmakers and was recently named the NFL Most Valuable Player award by the Pro Football Writers of America.
Jackson had one of the most successful regular seasons by any quarterback in NFL history. He completed 265 of 401 passes for 3,127 yards and an NFL-high 36 touchdowns, which was also a franchise record. Jackson finished with 1,206 yards rushing — sixth best in the league and the most by a quarterback in NFL single-season history.
Jackson is the only quarterback in NFL history to produce at least 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season. Jackson is also just the third quarterback in league history to produce at least 35 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns in a season, joining Steve Young (1994) and Cam Newton (2015), both of whom won MVP honors after accomplishing this feat.
"He’s going to respond by being extremely motivated and determined to improve as a football player," coach John Harbaugh said. "And the strides he made between last year and this year are pretty indicative of that, and we expect him to continue to get better. I just know his character and who he is as a person. That’s what he’ll be thinking about.”
Baltimore set a new NFL single-season team record for rushing yards (3,296).
The Ravens also have several other young playmakers on offense, most notably tight ends Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst, receivers Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin, and offensive linemen Orlando Brown Jr. and Bradley Bozeman that can help the team maintain that level of productivity for years to come.
"I think that’s what they intended to do, especially when they envisioned us when they drafted Lamar [Jackson] and how young we are," Boykin said. "Obviously, you have me and Marquise [Brown], and you have Mark [Andrews] and Hayden [Hurst]. We’re just an extremely young group, and we’re only going to get better. You’re talking to 22-, 23-year-olds playing against veterans every day. So, we’re definitely going to get better. We’re excited for it.