The Baltimore Ravens are in a precarious situation right now.
Although they’re currently in first place in the AFC North with an 8-4 record, they have the same record as the second-place Cincinnati Bengals, and one unacceptable loss before the end of the season could cost them a playoff spot.
The final Wild Card spot in the conference currently belongs to the New York Jets, who are 7-5.
The Ravens will be without quarterback Lamar Jackson for a while after he sprained his PCL on Sunday, although head coach John Harbaugh has tried to sound optimistic about the injury.
Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson suffered a sprained PCL during Sunday’s win over the Denver Broncos, per league sources. PCL injuries often sideline players 1-to-3 weeks and Ravens’ HC John Harbaugh already has said Jackson is “less likely” to play Sunday vs. the Steelers. pic.twitter.com/4ra4KDuUdQ
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 6, 2022
Just how concerning is the Ravens’ situation, especially regarding Jackson?
Jackson Is An Irreplaceable Piece
When one looks at the Ravens, they’re not exactly a prolific passing team.
They rank 16th in passing touchdowns and 26th in passing yards, and they have just one skill player – tight end Mark Andrews – who currently has over 400 receiving yards on the season.
Simply put, Jackson accounts for a huge chunk of Baltimore’s offense with his 764 rushing yards, which is over 340 more yards than its second-leading rusher, Kenyan Drake.
Without Jackson, the Ravens will have to turn to QB2 Tyler Huntley, who has played under center in just one game, which was Sunday’s contest versus the Denver Broncos.
He completed an impressive 27 of 32 passes, but for his career, he has thrown more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (three) and has a passer rating of only 77.3.
Baltimore’s Saving Grace
The good thing for the Ravens is that their remaining schedule looks fairly manageable.
They will face the rebuilding Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14 and will host them three weeks later, while also playing the Cleveland Browns in Week 15 and the Atlanta Falcons the following week.
The only challenging game still on the schedule looks to be the regular season finale at the Bengals, and the division title, or at least the Ravens’ playoff hopes, could come down to that contest.
This means they may be able to absorb a short-term absence from Jackson while buying him a little more time to get himself right.