The Baltimore Ravens are a strong contender for this year’s Super Bowl but their chances of achieving the same level of regular-season success that they had in 2019 don’t look as promising.
Baltimore led the NFL with 58 touchdowns last season, though it’s unlikely that they hit that mark again in 2020. Only seven teams have hit that total since 2011, according to J.J. Zachariason of numberFire. In each case, the team did not reach that amount of touchdowns in the following season. The average total was 47 TDs, which is still a productive offense but not nearly historic.
Lamar Jackson won the MVP in his first year as a starter in 2019, leading the Ravens to a division title. While Baltimore is still the favorite to win the division (-233 via GambetDC), a regression on offense would certainly open the window for the Steelers to return to the top of the AFC North or the Browns to finally put it all together and take that crown.
Baltimore’s run-first approached worked last year, in part, because the team was able to get out to leads early. Only 21.6% of their offensive plays came while trailing, which was the best mark in the league. If some of those early touchdowns turn into field goals or worse, punts, then the whole calculus of John Harbaugh’s gameplan shifts.
The Ravens are still likely to be a run-heavy team. While there are rumblings that they could sign Antonio Brown, the presence of an All-Pro wideout wouldn’t necessarily change their intent. It would likely help to offset any touchdown regression, as Jackson would have another major weapon to use when the Ravens are not able to go run-heavy late in competitive games.
Baltimore won 14 games last season, outscoring opponents by 295 points over the course of the season. Oddsmakers expect them to regress slightly as their O/U is 11.5 wins (via GambetDC) and the touchdown regression surely plays a factor in that handicapping.