The Ravens had the best regular-season record in the NFL in 2019, but all Baltimore fans can remember from last season was their playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round. Those feelings fans had this past January were eerily similar to those they felt the year prior when the Chargers eliminated the Ravens on their own turf, too.
Baltimore is looking to get over the playoff hump in 2020 and hopes to do so with an even better offense than they had a season ago. Former Ravens head coach Brian Billick believes that with a more balanced offensive attack, they'll be able to accomplish that next season.
"It's all about getting to the playoffs and moving forward. Naturally, everything is going to come back to Lamar Jackson," Billick said, via 247Sports. "Where they're focused right now, as brilliant of a year as he had and it was stunningly brilliant, I think they'd like to see more of a balance."
A year ago, the Ravens had by far the league's best rushing attack, averaging over 200 yards on the ground per game. Jackson, who earned league MVP honors in 2019, broke the single-season QB rushing record last season with over 1,200 yards.
While the quarterback led the NFL in touchdown passes with 36, his 3,127 passing yards finished outside the league's top 20. The Ravens averaged just 201 passing yards per game, which was the fifth-lowest mark in the NFL.
Billick believes that an improvement in the passing game, particularly on the outside, could take the Ravens offense to the next level in 2020.
"First off, throwing outside of the numbers. They've talked about that," he said. "That's where there was if there was one, an Achilles heel. That's where the incompletions came from. That's where the interceptions came from."
Jackson excelled for most of the season throwing the football, but the passer struggled during the Ravens' playoff loss to Tennessee. Baltimore fell down by two touchdowns early on, which forced them to move away from the run and drop back to throw more often. Jackson finished with two interceptions and three total turnovers in the loss.
Despite Jackson's poor outing to end the Ravens season, head coach John Harbaugh explained last week that he believes the quarterback is ready to take the next step in his development next season, particularly on deep passes.
"The ability to make them pay for tilting their defense toward stopping our run game with a really, really efficient passing game," Harbaugh said. "I do believe that's the next step of this offense. I really do believe Lamar is going to take the next step."
Baltimore added a pair of speedy wideouts in the 2020 NFL Draft, Devin Duvernay and James Proche, as well as versatile running back J.K. Dobbins. It's impossible to forget about Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, who showed plenty of promise as a rookie last season despite dealing with multiple injuries. Plus, the Ravens have one of the best pass-catching tight ends returning in Mark Andrews.
All of these factors should give Jackson plenty of weapons on the outside to throw to as he takes the next step as a passer.
"We should have guys more open, and we should have bigger plays," Harbaugh said. "We should create more opportunities in the pass game because of that run game."
Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE RAVENS NEWS:
- Ravens owner: Donates $1M for social reform
- Peter King: BAL "right there" with KC in AFC
- Lamar: Tweets George Floyd photo