BALTIMORE RAVENS (10-8)
EXPECTATIONS: It looked dicey for a while, but the Ravens managed to keep star quarterback Lamar Jackson, agreeing to a new five-year deal with him. Now the question is whether they can make the most of Jackson's unique skill set. Baltimore hired Todd Monken as its offensive coordinator and tried to upgrade its wide receivers by adding Odell Beckham Jr. and first-round draft pick Zay Flowers. Tight end Mark Andrews and running back J.K. Dobbins are holdovers who already have shown they can make big contributions. The Ravens' defense was impressive by the end of last season after trading for linebacker Roquan Smith. If Baltimore can overcome some early health concerns in the secondary, this is a team that can contend for a division title. But the Ravens have won only one playoff game with Jackson, and even if they have improved, there's an awful lot of strong competition in the AFC.
NEW FACES: Offensive coordinator Todd Monken, WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Nelson Agholor, CB Rock Ya-Sin, RB Melvin Gordon, LB Jadeveon Clowney, CB Ronald Darby.
KEY LOSSES: G Ben Powers, DE Calais Campbell, S Chuck Clark, CB Marcus Peters, LB Justin Houston.
STRENGTHS: Jackson is perhaps the greatest dual-threat quarterback the game ever has seen, and the Ravens always have been tough to beat when he's healthy. The addition of Smith last season created an impressive linebacking tandem of him and Patrick Queen. Baltimore also has an NFL record-setting kicker in Justin Tucker, who can give the Ravens an edge in any close game.
WEAKNESSES: Although the Ravens have done a lot to upgrade their receiving group, Baltimore has a lot to prove in the passing game. The same is true of the team's pass rush after losing Justin Houston and Calais Campbell (a combined 15 sacks last season) from the 2022 team. Jackson missed only one game in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, but he was injured at the end of 2021 and 2022, and the Ravens can ill afford more durability issues for their franchise quarterback.
CAMP DEVELOPMENT: Standout cornerback Marlon Humphrey needed surgery for a lingering foot issue, and other injury problems could leave Baltimore short-handed at that position — at least at the beginning of the season.
FANTASY PLAYER TO WATCH: Flowers has earned all sorts of praise for his potential as a rookie, and there are enough concerns about the injury history of Beckham and Rashod Bateman that Flowers' value could skyrocket. He could be particularly valuable if the Ravens adopt a more pass-friendly system under Monken.
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK SAYS: Win Super Bowl: 18-1. Over/under wins: 10 1/2.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
The Associated Press