The Baltimore Ravens dominated opponents last season and have the best Ravens Super Bowl 2021 odds. Furthermore, this is thanks to quarterback Lamar Jackson, who went on to win the league MVP award.
Even though Jackson’s running style led to him taking a lot of hits, head coach John Harbaugh doesn’t plan on changing the offense this season. However, he would like to see his quarterback make some more downfield throws.
“Those corners are going to be one-on-one and those safeties are going to be one-on-one against receivers, especially on some downfield throws, and we got to make them pay for it. We absolutely have to make them pay,” Harbaugh said. “The ability to make them pay for tilting their defense toward stopping our run game with a really, really efficient passing game. I do believe that’s the next step of this offense. I really do believe Lamar is going to take the next step.”
With Jackson leading the way with 36 touchdown passes, the Ravens had the highest-scoring offense in the league last season. Jackson also set the NFL record for rushing yards for a quarterback with 1,206 as he became the second unanimous MVP in NFL history and at age 22.
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Despite the offense putting up big numbers, Jackson struggled to throw deep consistently. On throws that traveled at least 15 yards in the air, Jackson ranked 27th in completions (35) and 22nd in completion rate (43.8%). In the divisional playoff loss to the Titans, Jackson was 6-for-17 (35.3%) on such throws.
Harbaugh believes the success of their ground game and the possibility that Jackson will take off with the ball will help open up the passing game.
“We should have guys more open and we should have bigger plays and we should create more opportunities in the passing game because of that run game,” Harbaugh said.
Even though he wants to throw the ball deep a lot more than they did last season, Harbaugh doesn’t plan to shift from the team’s run-heavy philosophy.
“I wouldn’t say we’re going to scrap the run game and I wouldn’t say we’re going to become a more conventional offense — that’s the last thing we want to do,” Harbaugh said Thursday. “We didn’t change the offense to scrap the idea that we want to cause people problems. We just want to get better at taking advantage of weaknesses.”