Baltimore Ravens could plummet out of playoff contention in 2023 | You Pod to Win the Game
Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson and Jori Epstein each give their rationale for the Baltimore Ravens topping their list of AFC teams who could massively underachieve in 2023. Given the murky situation regarding QB Lamar Jackson's contract, turnover on the coaching staff and Jackson's recent injury history, Charles and Jori believe the Ravens could fall well short of expectations next season in a loaded AFC North division.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Your plummet team in the AFC? I'll tell you what, I'll give you mine.
JORI EPSTEIN: No, no, no. No, no, no. No, no, no.
CHARLES ROBINSON: No, I'll give you mine first so then you have a minute.
JORI EPSTEIN: No. You don't get to go first because you made these rules. You didn't give me a heads up.
CHARLES ROBINSON: OK. All right.
JORI EPSTEIN: And if we have the same one, I want to be able to say it first.
CHARLES ROBINSON: OK.
JORI EPSTEIN: The Baltimore Ravens.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Ah! We have the same plummet team.
JORI EPSTEIN: I don't care what happens with Lamar Jackson from here.
CHARLES ROBINSON: You and I are already totally locked in. This is the same thing I'm thinking.
JORI EPSTEIN: I know and I'm so glad I'm saying it first. I think if Lamar Jackson goes elsewhere, the Ravens are screwed. If Lamar Jackson plays on a franchise tag, they have a quarterback they're mad at and it means they didn't come to terms and figure things out. And remember, no agent.
This is them fighting with each other and not resolving it. That's an issue. If they put him on a long-term contract, expectations go sky high. You already have all this discord that has hurt some trust around the building.
Who that's directed it doesn't really matter. I don't think you can come back from this. That doesn't mean that he can never be a good player again, but-- Oh, and a new offensive coordinator, by the way. You put that together, I don't see how the Ravens have a good year in 2023. Oh, and by the way, if I'm going to call out other people like the AFC East for having guys in their division, the Bengals are winning that division, so.
CHARLES ROBINSON: AFC North is going to be brutal. And by the way, Cleveland could be terrible next year or Deshaun Watson could click back into the player that they thought they were acquiring, and if he does, then that also changes the dynamic of how we look at the AFC North. I look at the AFC North as potentially once again being brutal again. That there was this opportunity last year.
If you were going to make some hay, you had to kind of make it last year because everybody was kind of still going through some stuff. I think some of that cleans up. But the way you described it with Lamar Jackson, that's 100% my thinking. I'm with you, like, all the way. If he leaves, yeah, that's going to be some massive Death Star-sized hole in your roster.
If he stays though, yeah, I don't know how you deal with this. If he plays on the tag, I mean, it's going to be this constant storyline all year long. People are going to be asking nonstop, and if they're not, we're all going to be watching his social media account all year.
Is he going to be fighting with fans again? If there's some uneven play then that automatically becomes, well, good thing they didn't do the deal and now they definitely can't do the deal. And should they even tag him in 2024 at this point?
JORI EPSTEIN: Right.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, I just think it's a total mess and it feels awkward. And like you said, there's a coaching staff change that we'll see how it ultimately works out with the new OC there. Yeah, it just has the feel of a team that absolutely, in my mind, I mean, they could be a 5-12 team next year. Who knows? This could really go badly for them, so.