BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Ravens ran their way to the NFL’s best record last season at 14-2 before bowing out in disappointing fashion in the divisional round of the playoffs. After tweaking their roster in free agency and the NFL Draft, the expectations are high entering the 2020 season.
The full schedule will be revealed Thursday in terms of the dates and times for each game, but we already know who the Ravens opponents will be for the upcoming season. As such, the folks in Vegas have already set win totals for each team and the Ravens check in with one of the league’s highest at 11.5. Even with a number that high, SportsLine analyst Larry Hartstein is picking the over.
“The Ravens won 14 games, they’re pegged at 11.5, you do have to pay juice on the over but they had a great draft. They stole Patrick Queen late in the first round, they add J.K. Dobbins. That is going to make their running game more impossible to defend,” said Hartstein. “And how about their schedule? They get the easiest schedule in the league based on opponents’ records. Their three toughest games: Chiefs, Titans, Cowboys, all have to come to Baltimore.”
Dobbins, a 2,000-yard rusher last season at Ohio State, adds another game-breaking weapon to a backfield that already featured quarterback Lamar Jackson and running back Mark Ingram. In Queen, the team hopes to have found an answer to the hole left at inside linebacker by the departure of C.J. Mosley in free agency prior to last season.
The biggest issue the Ravens had in their playoff matchup with the Titans was an inability to stop Derrick Henry who totaled 195 yards on 30 carries. To address that issue, the team brought in veteran defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe who have both long been stalwarts against both run and pass.
The division around the Ravens will likely improve from last year as the Steelers get quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back from injury and the Browns appear to have addressed their biggest issue along the offensive line. Still, Hartstein sees Baltimore as the best overplay in the division, and based on the roster, it’s hard to argue with his logic.