The regular calendar ended and in the 2019-20 season, there is only one concrete fact: the Baltimore Ravens were the great revelation of this campaign, surpassing what they had achieved last season, and taking advantage of the movement to dispense with Joe Flacco and deliver the Responsibility to his new quarterback: Lamar Jackson.
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens player / Photo: AFP
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
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Leer en español: NFL: el movimiento que puso a valer a los Baltimore Ravens
The final record of 14-2, the best of the entire circuit, is the first sign that we are in the presence of a great team.
Jackson's versatility (he can also run), the formation of the attack with Jackson, Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards, and the technical direction of John Harbaugh are, in principle, the three keys for Baltimore to have positioned itself in the first position of the North Division of the American Conference, ahead of the Cleveland Browns, main candidates of this geographical area, and the always respectable Pittsburgh Steelers, which are undergoing renovation and were second.
BACK TO BACK.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 13, 2019
KINGS OF THE NORTH pic.twitter.com/ILBtybUdOY
What nobody noticed
After winning the Super Bowl in 2012 with Joe Flacco as the main figure, the Ravens entered a losing stage that barely gave their first signs of recovery during the last harvest, 2018-19, when Harbaugh decided to hand over a young quarterback like Jackson to the detriment of a Flacco in remarkable decline.
This is how the Baltimore Ravens made the jump last season with a rookie quarterback and managed to return to the playoffs as monarchs of the AFC North, taking advantage of a disappointing Steelers campaign. The incredible thing is that no team, not even the NFL analysts, have been able to predict that the Maryland team would again be a competitive team and that its 2018 advance was not a coincidence.
And it was not difficult to predict, because last year Baltimore became a runner and placed second in the land yard department just behind Seattle. Jackson in his first season in stellar function accumulated 695 yards and five touchdowns. Edwards, in turn, reached 718 yards. The circuit seems to have underestimated Harbaugh's.
The new star
Jackson himself was cautious in the preseason when he said: "I don't think I ran as much as I did last year. There were many career options and many sudden changes last year. This one will be totally different." It could be a way to mislead the rivals, because, with Jackson as QB, Baltimore had a 6-1 record during the regular last season.
The arrivals of rookie attacker Marquise Brown and veteran Earl Thomas have given the Ravens depth, with speed on one side and leadership and experience on the other. For now, everything is going very well.
Shattering the Ravens franchise rush record on Thursday deserves more attention (2,674 yds in 2003).— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) December 17, 2019
Jamal Lewis was a MONSTER that year, including setting an NFL single-game rush record (295).
The 2019 Ravens outperforming that year speaks volumes.pic.twitter.com/zPGljaiewH
Craft to knock down favorites
If we move away from strictly numerical aspects, we must highlight that Baltimore already won this year triumphs against strong contenders for the title such as the current New England Patriots champions (to knock them undefeated) and the Seattle Seahawks, so its impressive campaign is also based on the character that gives to face complicated parties with the necessary character. That is to say, we are not talking about a franchise that bases its registration only in confrontations before weak sets.
After becoming the best record in the entire league, and therefore the American Conference, the Ravens seem to have paved the way for Super Bowl LIII, as they advance directly to the semifinals, in which they must face the winner of the round of wild card between the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Texans.
Everything is ready for logic to prevail and the Ravens reach the Conference final, before the current NFL monarchs, the New England Patriots, or the competitive Kansas City Chiefs. The table is served so that from January 4 the final stretch of the season begins, and Baltimore is undoubtedly one of the favorites.