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Baltimore Ravens emerge as best NFL team despite postseason performance

Raj Chamria
The Baltimore Ravens, led by quarterback Lamaar Jackson, dominated the NFL this season. However, their playoff experience caused them to fall short of the Super Bowl.

The Baltimore Ravens cemented their status as the National Football League’s best team this season, boasting a league-leading record of 13 wins to four losses, the best record in the league. Their stellar performance included notable victories over formidable opponents such as the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions.

Under the guidance of their head coach John Harbaugh, who has led the team to 11 postseason appearances and one Super Bowl victory since 2008, the Ravens have consistently excelled in recent years, making the playoffs five times in the past six seasons.

According to ESPN, Baltimore’s rushing offense, led by quarterback Lamaar Jackson, averaged a league high of 156.5 yards per game. Jackson’s running ability allowed him to consistently get out of tight situations that no other quarterback in the league could achieve, leading Baltimore to dominate with the most amount of running done by any NFL team this season.


Raj Chamria

The Ravens’ success this season can be attributed in large part to their incredibly strong defense, anchored by linebacker Roquan Smith and safety Kyle Hamilton. Their defensive excellence has allowed them to grind out victories even in games where their offense has underperformed. According to ESPN, Baltimore led the league defensively allowing their opponents to score only 16.5 points per game, showcasing their ability to stifle opposing offenses.

Despite the Ravens’ incredible season and skilled offense and defense, two things stopped the Ravens from winning the Super Bowl: the pressure of performing in the playoffs and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jackson’s playoff record of two wins and four losses offers a stark contrast with his regular season achievements, highlighting his struggles under postseason pressure. On the other hand, teams with strong defenses prove to be much tougher opponents, such as the Kansas City Chiefs and their quarterback Patrick Mahomes whose playoff record is 15 wins and three losses.

Lamar Jackson’s struggles in the playoffs stem from the unique challenge posed by teams with strong defenses. Teams like the Kansas City Chiefs are able to limit Jackson’s running game.

In the American Football Conference Championship Game, the Chiefs restricted Jackson to just eight rushing attempts for 54 yards, causing him to have to rely on his passing ability. Under the pressure of playoff scenarios and facing an intimidating Chiefs defense, Jackson’s passing performance suffered. According to the NFL, Jackson completed only 54% of his passes – 20 out of 37 – for 272 yards compared to his regular season pass completion of 67.2%.

Patrick Mahomes emerged as a standout performer for the Chiefs during the playoffs. According to ESPN, Mahomes maintained an average adjusted quarterback rating of 63.1 per game during the regular season, however, he managed to elevate his game significantly in the playoffs, boosting himself to an adjusted quarterback rating of 86.6. Mahomes’ ability to push forward and improve under pressure played a pivotal role in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory.

Looking ahead to the Ravens’ potential improvements for next season, their continued success hinges on maintaining their playoff momentum. With each postseason appearance, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens gain experience that can enhance their ability to win crucial games in the playoffs.

During the offseason, the Ravens should look to improve their defensive line and find a running back that can take some heat off of Jackson and improve the teams’ overall performance. If these two tasks are achieved, I have no doubt that the Ravens will be positioning themselves as strong contenders for the Super Bowl title next season.

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About the Contributor
Raj Chamria, Reporter
Raj Chamria ('27) is a Reporter for The Standard in Journalistic Writing.

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