Ray Lewis thinks Ravens need to surround Lamar Jackson with better weapons to win Super Bowl

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Matthew Stevens
·3 min read
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The Baltimore Ravens have looked like one of the best teams in the NFL over the last few seasons. Thanks to their tough defense and the electric ability of quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it to the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, going as far as the Divisional Round the last two years. Unfortunately, the offense just hasn’t been good enough, which has seen Baltimore watching the Super Bowl from their couches instead.

That’s led many to wonder if Jackson is the guy to lead the Ravens to the promised land. According to NFL legend and Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, he absolutely is, but it’s going to take a little help from Baltimore to get it done.

“Can he [win a Super Bowl]? Absolutely! But you’re going to have to surround him with the right pieces for sure,” Lewis said on ESPN’s First Take.

Like many fans and analysts, Lewis has seen the Ravens’ run-first offensive philosophy as a bit of a hindrance to their Super Bowl aspirations. While he appreciates Baltimore’s success on the ground, Lewis believes it’s time to add a big-play receiver on the outside to help Jackson out.

“I get it, we’re the No. 1 rush team over the last two years. And that’s great, that’s great to do that,” Lewis said. “But to go to the next level, you’re going to have to have a big-play X or Z on the outside that takes a lot of pressure off Lamar when Lamar’s doing what he does.”

Baltimore’s offense has some underrated talent on the depth chart right now. Marquise Brown is a great deep threat and his emergence at the end of last season is encouraging heading into the 2021 season. Mark Andrews is unquestionably one of the best tight ends in the game right now but often gets the defense’s priority thanks to being Jackson’s primary target. The rushing attack has been the best in the league, even shattering an NFL record in 2019, which should help set up the passing game. Unfortunately, all those pieces just haven’t been enough thus far.

It’s fair to assign some blame to Jackson, who is still developing as a passer. It’s also fair to place some blame on the lack of talent on the outside, with Baltimore’s offense clearly missing a big-bodied possession receiver who can consistently convert first downs in tough situations. Some blame certainly should go to the coaching staff, who have perhaps leaned a little too heavily into running the ball, finishing the 2020 season last in the league in passing attempts by a wide margin.

There are a number of things the Ravens need to do to fix their passing attack this offseason. However, Lewis hit the nail right on the head . . . Baltimore needs to get Jackson a consistently productive outside receiver.

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