The last two seasons for the Baltimore Ravens have both been undone by Lamar Jackson’s injuries. In 2021, his injury knocked them out of the playoff picture as the team was unable to win without him on the field. This season, the Ravens were able to make the playoffs without their star quarterback, but the division lead evaporated as they had a Wild Card spot.
That sink in the standings led to the Ravens heading on the road and facing off with their AFC North rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals. Not many people gave them a chance to win the game as they were starting backup Tyler Huntley with Jackson still recovering from his knee injury.
To the surprise of many, the Ravens gave the Bengals as much as they could handle. Baltimore ended up losing the game 24-17 because of a 98-yard touchdown return by Sam Hubbard after Huntley fumbled, reaching for the end zone early in the fourth quarter.
The Ravens deserved better with how they performed as the offense moved the ball with some success. In a shocking turn of events, their offense actually outgained the Bengals by 130 yards, which no one would have predicted coming into the game.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, this continues what has been a troubling trend in their recent playoff history. Baltimore has had no issues moving the ball offensively, they just cannot finish drives with points.
According to OptaSTATS, the Ravens became the first team in NFL history to outgain their opponent by 120+ yards in four consecutive playoff games. Even more shocking is that they went 1-3 over those four games.
There is a lot that goes into losing games that are so thoroughly dominated, including some bad luck. The Ravens have done nearly everything right to succeed in the postseason, but they have not gotten the end result of winning games.
Something should change this offseason to ensure that doesn’t occur again, but the biggest difference could be having a healthy Jackson in the lineup. If the Ravens can retain him in free agency, figuring out a way to keep him healthy throughout the season is the No. 1 goal for the team in 2023.