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Baltimore Ravens roster ranked best in the NFL by Pro Football Focus

Baltimore Ravens roster ranked best in the NFL by Pro Football Focus

We were all witnesses last season when the Baltimore Ravens lit up the NFL all year long with one of the most dynamic offenses in league history. Apparently, things are just getting started for Baltimore as they were ranked the best roster in the NFL this upcoming season by Pro Football Focus,

"The Ravens' rushing attack was so good in 2019 that they were the most efficient offense in the NFL according to expected points added (EPA) per play while running the ball at a higher rate than any other offense," ESPN's Ben Linsey said. "In the modern NFL, that just isn't supposed to happen."

"Lamar Jackson's unique skill set as both a runner and passer is what makes that possible. His 47 carries with 5 or more yards before contact was eight more than any other runner in 2019, and his 42 missed tackles forced was over double the next-closest quarterback. Simply getting a hand on Jackson is easier said than done."

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From the offensive side of the ball, that's absolutely correct. Jackson has almost exclusively made a mockery of defenses with his scrambling ability, while also being able to keep his eyes downfield to make timely and accurate passes on seemingly every single play. 

In terms of line play, Linsey is cool with the defense but not so much the offense. 

"Baltimore's addition of Calais Campbell is one of the biggest moves this offseason that has flown under the radar for some reason. He has picked up overall grades of 90.0 or higher in each of the past four seasons, dominating against the run and consistently bringing pressure at an above-average rate whether lined up on the inside or on the edge." Linsey said. "Bringing one of the better defensive linemen in the NFL into the fold is only going to make what was a strong defense last season even better."

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"Despite how well the offensive line played in 2019, the interior offensive line stands out as one of the Ravens' biggest weaknesses heading into the 2020 season. Marshal Yanda's retirement after 13 consecutive seasons with a PFF grade of 80.0 or higher leaves a battle between unproven options at right guard," Linsey said. 

Baltimore will be looking for Bradley Bozeman and Matt Skura to step up at the center and guard slots, alongside Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr. 

While offseason predictions are always fun, the real work starts on July 28th when the Ravens report to training camp. Yes, 2019 was good to them, but the way it abruptly ended surely left a bad taste in their mouths. 

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Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti makes $1 million donation to local social justice reform programs

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti makes $1 million donation to local social justice reform programs

The Baltimore Ravens, along with the Steve and Renee Bisciotti Foundation, announced on Monday a $1 million joint-donation will be going to 28 local charities promoting racial equality. 

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti pledged to make this donation a week after George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minnesota. 

The Ravens formed a committee with five players -- Justin Tucker, Morgan Cox, Marlon Humphrey, Matthew Judon and Ronnie Stanley -- and former wide receiver Torrey Smith in order to decide which Baltimore-area organizations would receive funding. 

“When you talk about social justice, there are many different issues -- from education, to criminal justice reform, to health," Smith said through a Ravens release. "There are so many avenues the players could have chosen, so they really spread it out among a lot of different grassroots organizations. This is just the beginning of trying to figure out as many ways to collaborate with the people in the city who are doing great things to help change Baltimore for the better."

For Stanley, his status as a professional athlete in America's biggest sporting league makes him 

“I’m passionate about this, knowing the position I’m in and how blessed I am to be in a position to help people. I’m not going to forget about the people who are dealing with things that aren’t fair. We have an opportunity to help make the world a better place, and I want to take advantage of that," Stanley said in the Ravens statement.

“There are so many places in society that racism has affected. It really starts with people’s mentalities and how they’ve been raised and taught," continued Stanley. "The biggest thing for me is educating people about their own misconceptions and stereotypes, helping them understand the root behind these stereotypes and why the black community is where it is today. It has everything to do with American history.”

For a full list of the 28 organizations receiving money, click here

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Lamar Jackson is only focused on one thing after his MVP season: Winning a Super Bowl

Lamar Jackson is only focused on one thing after his MVP season: Winning a Super Bowl

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson deserved every single one of the votes he earned a year ago when he was unanimously voted the NFL's Most Valuable Player.

Jackson electrified in 2019, leading the NFL in passing touchdowns with 36 while shattering the sport's single-season QB rushing yards record with over 1,200 yards on the ground. He led Baltimore to a 14-2 record and the top seed in the AFC before the Ravens were upset by the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round of the playoffs.

On an individual level, there's not much Jackson can do in 2020 to top his personal success in 2019. Well, it's a good thing the QB is not focused on his individual accolades.

Ravens tight end Mark Andrews -- Jackson's top target from 2019 -- spoke to local media on Monday and said that Jackson's only goal for an encore to his MVP season is leading Baltimore to a Super Bowl.

"His biggest goal is to win a Super Bowl. That's his biggest thing," Andrews said. 

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After Jackson's remarkable 2019 campaign, it would be easy for the success he's had to get in his head. But according to Andrews, it's been nothing like that at all for the rising third-year QB.

"There's no superstardom coming from Lamar. Lamar is Lamar, and that's something that we all love about him," Andrew said. "That's something we can kind of relate to, that his head is not too big and it will never get too big, because he's down to earth."

While the Super Bowl is a lofty goal, it's a realistic one for Jackson and the Ravens. But for now, in August, left tackle Ronnie Stanley thinks Jackson should just focus on getting a little better each day, and the rest will work itself out in the long run.

"Just not try to make these tremendous leaps. Everyone kind of tries to put that pressure on you," Stanley said on advice for Jackson following his MVP season. "Just go in every day just trying to get a little bit better. Just keep that focus that, ‘I’m going to get better at this today.’ And just focus on that; not thinking every day that you have to be the perfect person or perfect player, because I feel like guys can get too ahead of themselves."

Entering the 2020 season, Jackson and the Ravens' disappointing performance in the playoffs is what many remembers from their 2019 season. The 14-2 record and overall regular season success are overshadowed by the early playoff exit.

That loss has stuck with Jackson, too, and it's motivated him this entire offseason.

"He's the best player I've ever been around, and he works hard," Andrews said. "So I think you're going to see an even more polished and even more ready Lamar than you saw last year. That sounds almost unbelievable, but the guy is incredible and he's a winner."

And while the expectations for Baltimore in 2020 are as high as they come, Andrews knows Jackson won't change his demeanor to try and accomplish them.

"Lamar is Lamar, man. He's never going to change who he is," Andrews said.

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