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“Nationals October 2019

NFL 2020 Predictions for Baltimore and Washington

| July 16, 2020, 12:02 PM

Photo: Piqsels

Annapolis benefits from being only 30+ miles away from two household names in the NFL scene. The two teams in Baltimore and Washington have had differing success stories through the years, with Washingotn having won more NFL championships than Baltimore to date. However, the 2020/21 NFL season could be a chance for Baltimore to draw level with Washington in terms of all-time Super Bowl titles.

The Ravens have won two Super Bowls in the post-Millennium NFL era, while Washington’s most successful era was in the 1980s and early 90s. Most Annapolis residents will almost certainly support one of these two franchises, especially given that the Ravens hosted training camps in Annapolis. With the new NFL season inching ever closer, let’s take a look at the prospects for these two teams.

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NFL 2020 schedule has been kind to the Ravens

First and foremost, the Ravens benefit from having retained the services of its MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson. In fact, Baltimore has retained almost their entire offensive line, which is positive news for fans given that they contributed to a 14-2 regular-season record in 2019/20. Their biggest off-season loss was the retirement of guard Marshal Yanda, who quit the sport after 13 years. They’ve been prudent with the defensive acquisitions of Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe, with the former an All-Pro star.

The biggest reason that Baltimore are well-fancied to make a big impression on next season is their regular-season schedule. Based on the records of teams from last season, the Ravens have the easiest schedule of all and will begin each regular-season game in 2020 as favorites. Because of the schedule, many believe they will provide the biggest challenge to Kansas City for the Lombardi Trophy in February 2021. According to the latest Super Bowl futures NFL betting lines at FOX Bet, it’s almost neck-and-neck for the Super Bowl favorites between Kansas City Chiefs (+600) and Baltimore Ravens (+650).

The exciting aspect about the Ravens’ play is that when they get in front, it’s very hard to stop them. Thanks to the quality of Lamar Jackson and the power of running back Mark Ingram II, Baltimore’s control of possession is one of the best in the business once they take the lead. Jackson is unique in that he can rush and pass with equal measure. Last year, he racked up 1,000 rushing yards on top of 3,000 passing yards – unheard of in NFL history.

New head coach springs new hope for Washington

The appointment of Washington’s new head coach Ron Rivera has been met with a largely positive response by fans. Rivera’s appointment was followed by a string of personnel changes, ushering in a new culture to try and right the wrongs of 2019. A 3-13 record was nothing but a catastrophe for Washington last season. Now seems like the ideal opportunity for Rivera to try and replicate his achievements with Carolina, which saw him reach the NFL Playoffs four times in five seasons between 2013 and 2017.

Perhaps Washington’s biggest off-season acquisition was Chase Young, using their number-two overall draft park to claim the defensive end from Ohio State. Young was deemed by many to be one of the scariest and most dominant defensive ends in college football last year. Beefing up the Washington defense is a great foundation for Rivera’s team to grow from.

Question marks continue to linger regarding Washington’s offense however. It’s very much a case of “last chance saloon” for the number-one quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Third-year pro Kyle Allen was drafted in as back-up for this coming year in a move designed to make it clear to Haskins that he must perform or risk being sidelined. Even if Haskins does improve this year, an even bigger question mark surrounds the rest of the offensive line. Washington lacks the arsenal of other franchises for Haskins to utilize, even if Terry McLaurin builds on his solid rookie year. The NFC East remains a tough division for Washington but with a younger, rejuvenated team under Rivera, they could take a big step forward in 2020/21.

Severn Bank

Category: LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Sports

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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