Lamar Jackson Is the MVP
- The Baltimore Ravens are prohibitive Super Bowl favorites.
- Lamar Jackson is the MVP frontrunner, however a much-improved protection is why they appear unbeatable.
- Marcus Peters’ affect is looming even better than his stats counsel.
Lamar Jackson wasted no time propelling the Baltimore Ravens to rivalry. The sophomore signal-caller started his burgeoning MVP candidacy by means of throwing for 5 touchdowns in a Week 1 romp over the Miami Dolphins, proving offseason chatter about his main strides as a passer was once rooted in a lot more than hopeful optimism.
Over two months later, Jackson is operating clear of the remainder of the box in the MVP race, and Baltimore is on a league-best seven-game profitable streak. But as a lot credit score as Jackson merits for his group’s efficiency, it’s the Ravens’ much-improved protection that’s became them from intriguing playoff group to prohibitive Super Bowl favourite.
Lamar Jackson Wasn’t the Catalyst for Ravens’ Midseason Turnaround
Defense was once intended to be Baltimore’s downfall in 2019. A franchise lengthy recognized by means of its dominance on that facet of the ball let a number of marquee defenders stroll in the offseason. Worse, the Ravens did little to interchange them, most commonly depending on inside growth to offset the losses of stars who led them to the splendid protection in soccer a yr in the past.
Four video games into the common season, it turned into transparent that protection can be what holds Baltimore again. John Harbaugh’s group surrendered a complete of 73 issues in back-to-back losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns, shedding it to 24th in Football Outsiders’ defensive potency. The Ravens’ worst fears weren’t handiest being learned, however appeared an increasing number of not going to be conquer.
You’d rarely understand it two months later. The Houston Texans and Los Angeles Rams’ high-flying offenses mixed for 13 issues towards the Ravens over the ultimate two video games, whilst Tom Brady performed possibly his worst sport of the season in Baltimore’s remark victory over the prior to now unbeaten New England Patriots on Nov. three.
Suddenly, the Ravens are the maximum well-balanced group in soccer. And whilst there’s no unmarried explanation why for his or her shocking defensive turnaround, the midseason addition of cornerback Marcus Peters – as his play in Baltimore’s victory over Los Angeles made transparent – has supposed much more than his stellar manufacturing suggests.
The Layered Impact of Marcus Peters
Baltimore despatched reserve linebacker Kenny Young and a fifth-round pick out to Los Angeles in change for Peters on Oct. 15. That’s a paltry value to pay to obtain a participant of Peters’ resumé, however he’d temporarily fallen out of style with the Rams, and his combative persona drove down his price throughout the league.
Peters has a whopping 27 interceptions for his occupation, greater than another participant since he entered the league in 2015. That he’s already picked off 3 passes since being dealt to Baltimore isn’t all that unexpected. But his manufacturing didn’t align with team-wide defensive efficiency all through his time in Los Angeles, lending credence to the perception that Peters’ true impact didn’t fit his numbers.
The Ravens at the moment are top-10 in defensive potency, on the energy of soccer’s third-ranked move protection. Peters’ tangible affect is simple. Maybe looming better, regardless that, is the sense of brash self belief he’s re-instilled in the Ravens, a dynamic on complete show towards Los Angeles.
After Peters picked off Jared Goff, he overtly taunted Jalen Ramsey, the famous person who changed him with the Rams, from the sidelines.
Marcus Peters was once yelling “Jalen!” from the sideline after his interception 💀 percent.twitter.com/CtN4O1SBWk
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) November 26, 2019
Baltimore’s New, Old Identity
Jackson is Baltimore’s splendid participant, and the one that will maximum come to a decision its destiny come playoff time. He’s converting soccer like few avid gamers ever have.
But Peters’ affect on the Ravens is indeniable. Not handiest has he fortified his new group’s move protection, however Baltimore is once more comporting itself with the aggressiveness and vanity defensively that’s lengthy outlined it.
Every Raven in historical past got here out to have a good time Marcus Peters interception towards his former group percent.twitter.com/d4U0OgRbhp
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 26, 2019
And simply as they adopted his lead on Monday evening, protecting him in a postgame flare-up with Ramsey, the Ravens appear poised to practice Peters all the technique to the Super Bowl.