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The Ravens have been the NFL's best team since Week 7 according to this advanced metric

The Ravens have been the NFL's best team since Week 7 according to this advanced metric

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Currently riding on a six-game win streak, the Ravens are the hottest team in the NFL right now.

And not only do they look good on the surface, but a deeper dive indicates they’ve been the NFL’s best team in recent weeks. 

According to Football Outsiders, the Ravens have the NFL’s No. 1 defense and offense by DVOA since Week 7.

DVOA is a statistic used to calculate the efficiency of a team’s offense or defense by breaking down how successful a particular play is. The formula takes into account strength of opponent and whether or not plays constituted a first down, amongst other variables.

For the first six weeks of the season, with the Dolphins opening week blowout as an outlier, the Ravens’ defense struggled to get off the field and didn’t show much improvement from Arizona in Week 2 to Cincinnati in Week 6. 

Then, the team traded for Marcus Peters, and with a few other savvy defensive acquisitions, the Ravens defense took off. They’ve only gotten better since the Seahawks game, too.

In the four games since the Peters acquisition, the Ravens have allowed just 56 total points and scored three touchdowns of their own. 

Analytically, the defense has been stout, but paired with the offense, the Ravens have made themselves perhaps the most complete team in the NFL.

Through the last four games, they’ve scored 157 points, though three touchdowns were defensive scores. 

With the Ravens surging headed into the home stretch of the season, there’s ample evidence to believe that as of Week 12, they’re the most complete team in the NFL.

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Lamar Jackson shows off accuracy by hitting a crossbar from 50 yards away

Lamar Jackson shows off accuracy by hitting a crossbar from 50 yards away

Lamar Jackson isn't letting the end of the Ravens' season impact his ability to wow us on the football field. 

Ahead of the Pro Bowl Skills Challenge set for Thursday night, Jackson showed off incredible arm talent by hitting the crossbar from 50 yards away. 

Not bad for a running back. 

This season didn't go as planned for the Raves. They won 12 straight games to finish the regular season 14-2 and Jackson had an MVP season. Everything pointed to at least a trip to the AFC title game until the Titans came into Baltimore and pulled off a shocking upset in the Divisional Round. 

Jackson later explained how he didn't leave his room after the loss, and who can blame him? He's now 0-2 in the playoffs and their latest failure came against a team that had to switch quarterbacks midseason. 

The future is still bright in Baltimore, and while the sting of the playoffs may still be there for Ravens fans, they can still watch their quarterback dazzle in the Skills Challenge and the actual Pro Bowl game on Sunday. 

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‘Depressed’ Lamar Jackson didn’t leave his room after Ravens’ playoff loss

‘Depressed’ Lamar Jackson didn’t leave his room after Ravens’ playoff loss

It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

The Ravens had the No. 1 seed in the AFC locked up. Their quarterback was the presumptive MVP and they boasted a 12-game winning streak that was the longest in the NFL. It wasn’t a question of whether they’d beat the Titans in the divisional round, but how deep into the playoffs they could go.

Except that’s not what happened. The Titans stunned the Ravens on their home turf and won handily by the score of 28-12. After throwing just one interception over his previous 10 games, Lamar Jackson through two passes that ended up in the hands of Tennessee.

“I didn’t leave my room, to be honest,” Jackson told The Athletic during the Pro Bowl festivities in Miami. “I wasn’t frustrated. I was hurt. I was depressed. It was like, ‘I don’t even want to go outside right now. I’m not happy right now.’ There was nothing to celebrate.”

The loss marked the second-straight season in which Baltimore stumbled in its first playoff game. But this wasn’t the Ravens team of yesteryear. The 2018 Ravens went 10-6 with Jackson’s future at the quarterback position still being questioned by pundits. The 2019 Ravens went 14-2 while Jackson looked like one of the best athletes in the sport.

“I need to get better myself,” Jackson added. “I don’t put nothing on my teammates. We all just have to do our part. My job was to help my team, get my team in the red zone and score points. I didn’t do my job. We just got to move on. All season we were doing that. We’d drive down into the red zone and we’d put up points. For that game, we didn’t. We can’t put that on the defense. [Tennessee] only scored like 28 points. We should score more points than that.”

Surrounded by the fanfare that is Pro Bowl week, Jackson is all smiles as he hangs out in warm weather among some of the league’s biggest stars. But the young quarterback will have a lot to prove in 2020, as he’ll look to show that this Ravens was team was no fluke. And that he can lead Baltimore over the hump once the playoffs begin.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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