The Baltimore Ravens sit atop the AFC North with a 5-2 record heading into Week 8, yet there are some concerns from fans and experts alike regarding their offensive production.
Perhaps some skeptics trashed that opinion after seeing the Ravens rout the Detroit Lions 38-6 at home this past Sunday.
The Ravens went into this season with new leadership at offensive coordinator, as Todd Monken came over from the national championship-winning Georgia Bulldogs to revitalize an offense that had gone stale in 2022 under Greg Roman. While the Ravens were in the middle of the pack with 339.2 yards per game and 22.2 points per game entering Sunday, there’s the belief this group can tap into another gear that would make them one of the best offenses in the NFL.
That was achieved on Sunday when the Ravens combined for 503 yards on offense, 357 of which came through the air.
Ravens legendary receiver Anquan Boldin, who was a part of Baltimore’s Super Bowl winning squad during the 2012-13 season, has watched the Ravens’ receivers this season, and said before the game that this was the right group for quarterback Lamar Jackson to work with.
“I think they have the right receivers in the room,” Boldin told Fox News Digital while in the “Ultimate Baltimore Ravens Fan Room” at Courtyard by Marriott. “I think they’re still in the process of filling out who can do what. You look at it, they have a new offensive coordinator this year after G-Rome [Greg Roman] the last couple years. So they’re still trying to figure those pieces out. New offensive system. You went from a run-heavy offense to now trying to be more balanced. They’re still trying to figure that piece out. Like I said, how do we use the guys around us? Because they have some dynamic pieces, so just trying to figure it out.”
The Ravens’ dynamic bunch that Boldin mentions includes Zay Flowers, the team’s rookie first-round pick who leads Baltimore with 442 receiving yards in seven games, including his four-catch, 75-yard performance against the Lions. Veteran tight end threat Mark Andrews is next with 357 and Nelson Agholor has 222.
That’s not to mention Odell Beckham Jr., who joined the team this season after missing all of 2022 to recover from a torn ACL. He had five catches for 49 yards to get to 162 on the year.
Boldin believes the Ravens receivers are still learning Monken’s system during these regular-season games, and thinks the preseason might have worked better for the veterans in the room to get acclimated early on.
“It also a little different in the fact that nowadays you don’t play as much in the preseason,” he explained. “In the past, you use those games to kinda gel together and get that continuity going. Now, people seem more concerned about being healthy going into the season, which is a good thing. When you don’t play in the preseason, you don’t get that experience playing together. It takes a little time during the season to gel together.”
Did they finally see what Monken had planned all along against one of the best teams in the NFC so far this season?
The Ravens dominated when they had the ball, and the fact that it was done mostly through the air instead of the typical ground game Baltimore displays was telling to the rest of the league that has to view the Ravens are legitimate contenders if they didn’t already.