At NFL, The Ravens had the best regular-season record last year at 14-2, and it looks like they have gotten even better.
One of the team’s few weaknesses was a front seven that was revealed in the playoffs when Baltimore allowed 217 rushing yards to the Tennessee Titans.
By trading a mere fifth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Ravens upgraded that unit for defensive lineman Calais Campbell, a five-time Pro Bowler. Campbell’s deal with the Jaguars only ran through 2020. So, the Ravens expanded him and gave him a $10 million signing bonus.
The 2020 NFL Draft of them drew rave reviews as it addressed their other major weaknesses. They developed at linebacker. LSU’s Patrick Queen, one of the best in the draft slid to them in the first round, and the Ravens selected Malik Harrison of Ohio State in the third round.
They added more-needed wide receiver help with reliable James Proche in the sixth round and speedy Devin Duvernay in the third round. And J.K. Dobbins, a second-round pick should further bolster last year’s No. 1 rushing offense by being able to spell running back Mark Ingram.
In the meantime, the Chiefs, the champion of Super Bowl LIV remain the team to beat after retaining 20 of 22 starters from last year’s championship squad. Brett Veach, general manager of Chiefs deftly signed several of his free agents, including Bashaud Breeland, Mike Pennel, and Demarcus Robinson, to one-year contracts to work his way around the salary cap.
The defending champs of the Super Bowl will play the Ravens in one of the marquee games on the NFL schedule. That Monday Night Football competition is slated for Sept. 28.
That game could go a long way toward deciding who holds home-field advantage. The 2020 NFL season has a revamped playoff system that featuring three wild-card teams per conference, and only one team will get a first-round bye.
That team with the bye could very well be the Chiefs or the Ravens.
Adding more conspiracy is that those teams feature the NFL’s last two MVPs, Lamar Jackson and Mahomes. One year after Mahomes had a best season while throwing for 50 touchdowns and 5,097 yards, Jackson set a single-season rushing mark for a quarterback with 1,206 yards for all-time, while leading the NFL with 36 touchdown passes.
The 24-year-old Mahomes and 23-year-old Jackson and are the new faces of the NFL.
Mahomes, whose squad vanquished the Ravens and Jackson 28-33 in Week 3 last year, raved about his MVP successor last season.
Recently, Jackson is 0-2 against Mahomes, however, both of these games were played at Arrowhead Stadium. Finally, Jackson gets his chance to host Mahomes this year.
Mahomes and Jackson have not faced each other in the playoffs yet, but look for that change to sometime soon.
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