The injury-ravaged Ravens missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2018 and suffered their first losing season since 2015, but the pundits are expecting Baltimore to bounce back and return to form this season.
The Week 1 power rankings are out, and the Ravens are in the top 10 in seven of the nine sets of rankings we looked at.
Baltimore's highest ranking is No. 6, by The Athletic and Sporting News.
"The Ravens were the most injured team in the league by adjusted games lost last year and still nearly made the playoffs," The Athletic's Bo Wulf wrote. "Some positive regression on that front combined with the expected improvement on defense and Lamar Jackson's contract-season bump could make this a special year in Baltimore."
The Ravens' lowest ranking comes from CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco, who has them all the way down at No. 16.
"The Lamar Jackson contract situation isn't a good thing heading into the season," Prisco wrote. "They also have major questions at receiver and pass rusher."
|NFL.com||No. 10||“The 2021 season won’t be remembered fondly by the Ravens and their fan base. Injuries ravaged the roster from training camp until the end of the season, with the franchise posting its first losing record since 2015. Lamar Jackson was one of the many players who missed extensive time, and a monster rebound season could lead to the NFL’s biggest payday ever for the QB. It will be interesting to see how much Jackson runs the ball in this offense: Baltimore desperately wants to keep its franchise star on the field, but the best version of the Ravens’ attack has Jackson lighting up defenses with his legs — especially with No. 1 wide receiver Hollywood Brown now catching passes from Kyler Murray in Arizona.” — Dan Hanzus|
|Bleacher Report||No. 8||“As soon as the Ravens take the field against the New York Jets, Jackson's contract will take a back seat to what the team does on the field. But so long as Jackson remains unsigned, a cloud will be hanging over the team, and the cost of his new contract will only continue to increase.” — NFL staff|
|ESPN||No. 9||“This offseason, the Ravens improved their offensive line to further protect Jackson and solidify their running game. Last season, Baltimore lost two overtime games and four tilts by two points or fewer. With favorable matchups against the Giants, Panthers, Jaguars, Jets and Falcons, the Ravens might have better luck in close contests this season.” — Eric Moody|
|Sports Illustrated||No. 9||“The MMQB’s official team of the preseason is primed for a bounce-back year.” — MMQB staff|
|CBS Sports||No. 16||"The Lamar Jackson contract situation isn't a good thing heading into the season. They also have major questions at receiver and pass rusher.” — Pete Prisco|
|The Athletic||No. 6||“The Ravens were the most injured team in the league by adjusted games lost last year and still nearly made the playoffs. Some positive regression on that front combined with the expected improvement on defense and Lamar Jackson’s contract-season bump could make this a special year in Baltimore.” — Bo Wulf|
|Pro Football Focus||No. 11||“Few teams were as ravaged by injuries as the Ravens last season, and it propelled them from the top seed in the AFC at one point in the year to outside of the playoffs by the end of the season. Just getting healthy again makes the Ravens a real playoff team once again, and they can go on stretches of dominant play that scares any team in the league.” — Sam Monson|
|The Ringer||No. 8||“Baltimore missed the playoffs for the first time in the Lamar Jackson era last season after the roster, particularly the running back group and the secondary, was decimated by injuries. I’m here to remind you that Jackson is still the NFL’s most dynamic player and the primary reason the Ravens remain a deep postseason contender. Health permitting, which is far from a guarantee, Jackson should reassert himself as one of the league’s most prolific signal callers on his way back to the playoffs.” — Austin Gayle|
|Sporting News||No. 6||“The Ravens' defensive rebuild will see quick results with the 3-4 edge pass rush back to typical levels, backed by the league's best playmaking secondary. Lamar Jackson and the offense is headed to take advantage of better health and improved blocking. Baltimore is worthy of returning to clear AFC North favorite status.”— Vinnie Iyer|