The Bengals came into the season with quarterback Joe Burrow coming off a serious ACL injury.
Also, Cincinnati decided to take wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase in the NFL draft over an offensive lineman.
That was a surprising pick because the 2020 Bengals offensive line was terrible.
Which is part of the reason for the injury to Burrow.
Either way, they went with Chase and it is hard to argue with the results.
Paring college teammates Burrow and Chase together, was a fantastic decision.
Those two led the Bengals’ offense on an incredible run to the Super Bowl.
But, for the 2022 season, can any team in the AFC North unseat the Bengals?
The answer is, yes.
With that team playing in Baltimore.
Here are three reasons why the Ravens are good enough to win the AFC North.
Last season, there were not many teams that had worse injury luck than the Baltimore Ravens.
They lost their top two running backs before the season began.
Star cornerback Marcus Peters missed the entire season after suffering a season-ending knee injury just before week one.
Then there was quarterback, Lamar Jackson, who battled various injuries throughout the year and even missed three games.
In 2022, all of those players are coming back healthy and that should play a huge role in the Ravens’ success.
Every team suffers injuries each year but Baltimore was ravaged and it took a toll on them.
Despite all the injuries, the Ravens still won eight games and should be at least 2-3 wins better this season.
Having better injury luck will go a long way in the Ravens returning to the top of the AFC North.
The Ravens have always been known for having a stout defense.
But, against the pass in 2021, that was not the case.
Baltimore allowed a league-high 4,743 yards through the air last year.
They also allowed 31 passing touchdowns which were the third-most in the NFL.
But, they should be much better in 2022.
The aforementioned Marcus Peters will be returning to the lineup.
Along with first-round pick Kyle Hamilton who is their new starting safety.
Kyle Hamilton has been having an impressive first NFL preseason 👀
• 53 coverage snaps
• 0 catches allowed pic.twitter.com/5FAvVktGDw
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) August 25, 2022
Hamilton is known for his size and range.
Making him a welcome addition to a team that struggled against the pass.
The Ravens still have Marlon Humphrey on defense.
Also, they signed safety Marcus Williams from the Saints in free agency.
The Ravens addressed their defensive issues and should be much better on that side of the ball.
Top Coach/QB Combo
If you look at the recent Super Bowl winners you will see plenty of teams that have a great coach and quarterback.
That is exactly what the Ravens have.
In 15 seasons as the Ravens head coach, John Harbaugh, has a record of 137-88.
Also, there have only been two seasons under Harbaugh where the team has had a losing record.
Harbaugh is a great coach that always has a disciplined team.
Being a special teams coach, Harbaugh makes sure that unit is great too.
Kicker, Justin Tucker, is the best in the NFL and is good for a few game-winning kicks each year.
When healthy, Jackson is an elite QB.
He has a 37-12 record as a starting QB and even has an NFL MVP trophy under his belt.
Highest QB win percentage – since 2019
Aaron Rodgers .813
Patrick Mahomes .804
Lamar Jackson .738 pic.twitter.com/irtrcioACY
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 2, 2022
Jackson is the most explosive QB in the league and he can beat teams in a variety of ways.
He makes defending the Ravens so difficult.
After a down season in 2021, many have forgotten how good Jackson is.
Expect him to come back with vengeance in 2022.