3 Massive Questions Facing Baltimore Ravens For 2024 NFL Season

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens keep putting together fantastic regular seasons, but then continue to disappoint in the playoffs.

This past year, the Ravens finished with the best record in football and were tearing through the NFL in the second half of the season. However, they ultimately fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, mustering just 10 points in the process.

Once again, it’s back to the drawing board for Baltimore, which just can’t seem to get over the hump in January.

Still, the Ravens are projected to be one of the best teams in the league in 2024 and should absolutely contend for a Super Bowl.

Here are three questions facing Baltimore as it prepares for a potential championship run.

How much does Derrick Henry have left in the tank?

This is a fair question for a running back who is now 30 years old and has quietly displayed signs of declining over the last several seasons.

Yes, Henry racked up 1,167 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground in 2023, but he averaged just 4.2 yards per carry, his lowest mark since his sophomore campaign back in 2017.

At his peak, Henry was logging over five yards per attempt, so it seems pretty clear that the star halfback has lost a step, even if he is still very productive.

Will Henry continue producing in Baltimore, or will he slide a bit further?

The Ravens signed Henry to a two-year deal in free agency, and while he is certainly a big name, there are some legitimate questions about how he will fit in Baltimore’s offense.

Sure, the Ravens run the football an awful lot, but much of that comes in shotgun formation, which is not something to which Henry is entirely accustomed.

I’m not so sure signing an aging Henry was the best allocation of resources for Baltimore this offseason.

Are the Ravens’ wide receivers good enough?

See, I think the Ravens should have spent money on improving their receiving corps rather than putting it toward Henry.

Right now, there isn’t much behind Zay Flowers in Baltimore’s receiving corps. The Ravens have Rashod Bateman—a former first-round pick who is quickly approaching bust territory—and Nelson Agholor, a 31-year-old who managed just 381 yards last season. They did select Devontez Walker in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, but how much can we realistically expect a fourth-rounder to produce in his rookie year?

Baltimore actually lost its No. 2 receiver from last season, as Odell Beckham Jr. signed with the Miami Dolphins. Not that Beckham was great for the Ravens in 2023, but he is unquestionably a better option than what they currently employ.

The wide receiver position has been a major problem for Baltimore for a while now. While it’s true that wide outs may not be flocking to play with Lamar Jackson given his play style, it seems somewhat hard to believe that the Ravens couldn’t do any better than their current depth chart.

Baltimore’s lack of weapons presented significant issues for the club in its playoff loss to the Chiefs, and the Ravens didn’t do much of anything to remedy them over the last few months.

Can Lamar Jackson finally put it together in the playoffs?

Let’s call a spade a spade here: Jackson has not been good in the postseason.

He has had moments, like his Wild Card Round performance against the Houston Texans this past winter when he racked up four total touchdowns, but overall, he is just 2-4 in the playoffs and owns a 75.7 passer rating in those games. He has also thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns (six).

That isn’t going to cut it if the Ravens want to win a Super Bowl.

The question is whether or not Jackson’s lack of playoff success is due to the fact that his style of play simply doesn’t work consistently in the postseason or because Baltimore is not supplying him with enough supporting talent.

It could very well be a combination of both.

Still, Jackson is a two-time MVP. He should boast a better playoff resume than he currently has, and the pressure is beginning to mount.

The Ravens’ front office has not done a great job of putting the right pieces around Jackson. That much is true. But that hasn’t seemed to bother Jackson during the regular season.

It’s time Jackson puts the pedal to the metal in the playoffs.

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