Baltimore Ravens: Midseason Assessment


The Baltimore Ravens haven’t necessarily looked impressive, but they’re tied for first in the AFC North, mostly thanks to their defense.

We’re halfway through the NFL season, and the Baltimore Ravens are currently tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for first place in the AFC North with a record of 4-4.

Now is a good time to look back at the first half of this NFL season and assess where the Ravens are at, and the team hasn’t exactly looked impressive.

Let’s start with the offense, which has been far from efficient. I’ve mentioned before how badly the Ravens need a balanced offense, and that still rings true now. Their offense has been one of the most inefficient in the NFL, despite being one of the most pass-heavy offenses in the league.

While the Ravens are currently fourth in the league in passing attempts, they are 31st in yards per attempt, 29th in QB Rating, last in passing touchdowns, and 22nd in completion percentage. So basically, they’re throwing the ball more than most teams, and succeeding less than most teams.

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Their rushing game has been poor too, though it hasn’t been given much of an opportunity either. The Ravens are 28th in rushing attempts, 28th in rushing yards, 28th in yards per attempt, and tied for 21st in rushing touchdowns. As it stands right now, the Ravens are currently on pace to have the fewest points scored per game in the entire Harbaugh era.

The bright spot so far this season has been the Ravens’ defense though, and it’s that defense that’s helped the Ravens limp into a tie for first place.

The Ravens defense has already matched their total number of takeaways from last year at 14. They’re tied fourth in the league in interceptions, second in the league in net yard against/game, seventh in net passing yards against/game, and second in net rushing yards against/game. In essence, the Baltimore Ravens defense has been nothing short of fantastic.

So what do the Ravens need to do from here? Well their defense has saved them from a miserable season, because if we had the defense from last year, this might be a different conversation. The defense needs to keep up the solid play and the offense needs to pick itself up.

Fortunately for the Ravens, the AFC North is so mediocre this year that they could probably win the division with a 9-7 record. Luckily, the Ravens have the Browns, Bengals, and Dolphins coming up at home, and a game at the Cowboys. Those teams have a combined record or 14-18-1.

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It’s not going to be easy, but if the Ravens can balance their offense and keep up the strong defensive play, there is a definite chance they could win their division, or at least make the playoffs.