The State of the State: Maryland

June 27, 2023

An Attainable Win Total for the Ravens

With Lamar Jackson and a new look offense, taking the over in Baltimore is the right play

Remember, there are now 17 games in an NFL schedule.

Remember, Lamar Jackson is still a Raven.

Ten wins? Where and how fast can we sign up?

That’s the state of the union for the Baltimore Ravens, a team that SuperBook Sports currently has pegged at a 10-win season win total in 2023. Ten wins is the here and now, a number that inflated recently once Jackson signed a deal that makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history with a five-year, $260 million contract.

The AFC North is an interesting division. With the Bengals at +800 to win the Super Bowl – the third highest odds in the NFL – the North will undoubtedly run through Cincy. However, that doesn’t mean the Ravens can’t rack up a pile of wins. But the Steelers are down and the Browns are, well, the Browns. Outside of the division, the Ravens’ schedule includes home games against Colts, Lions, Seahawks, Rams and Dolphins – each of which currently has a lower predicted season win total than the Ravens. The road schedule isn’t all that terrible either – the Cardinals and Titans also project to have fewer wins than the Ravens.

Sounds like child’s play for Jackson, right?

If he’s healthy, then yes. Absolutely. Yes, No doubt.

Then again, that is the question when it comes to Jackson. There’s no doubt that the 2019 MVP can guide a team to a 12-, 13- even 14-win season. But given his stile of play, there’s always the caveat.

If Jackson is healthy.

Whenever Jackson has played in a dozen or fewer games, the Ravens have failed to reach 11 wins.  When he’s played in 15 or more games, Baltimore has never recorded less than 10 wins. Point being? The success of the Ravens of late has been directly tied to Jackson.

You think he’ll be well protected and healthy this fall? Put everything you have on the over.

Not convinced that Jackson’s style of play can be sustained? Bet this one cautiously, yet not afraid.

The Ravens devoted much of the offseason to providing Jackson with more weapons on offense. To assist Jackson, the Ravens brought in a boatload of veteran talent at the wide receiver position. The additions of Odell Beckham Jr., Zay Flowers and Nelson Agholor clearly indicate that Baltimore wants to make sure that their quarter-billion-dollar quarterback has options other than tucking it away and running it. As ESPN recently stated, wide receiver isn’t the most improved position in Baltimore, it’s the most improved position of any team in the NFL, giving Jackson an advantage he’s never had. There’s also the addition of new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who should install a fun and productive playbook.

The Ravens hyper-attention to offense is not to say that Jackson will be resigned to the pocket – he won’t be – but perhaps the threats on the outside, along with a more creative play-caller are more than that; perhaps there will be fewer eyes (and hits) on Baltimore’s prized QB.

Last season, if you had bet on the Ravens to win 10 games, you’d have pushed – even with Lamar Jackson only playing in 12 games. This season, even if Jackson’s heath is a concern, there’s reason to believe the Ravens will have no trouble surpassing double-digit wins. And without the hook, it’s hardly a risky bet.

Steve Quinne’s pick: Baltimore over 10.0 wins in 2023