The Baltimore Ravens are coming off of another successful season in 2020. John Harbaugh’s squad made the playoffs for the third year in a row and collected their first playoff victory since 2014. The 2021 season will be another important one for the Ravens as they try to best utilize the roster general manager Eric DeCosta has put together over the past three years. Since taking over the role in 2018, DeCosta has assembled debatably the most complete roster in football. Led by quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Ravens offense looks to improve even more in 2021 with the additions they have made on offense. DeCosta has bolstered the interior offensive line while getting standout blockers Ronnie Stanley and Nick Boyle back and added a multitude of new pass catchers via the draft and free agency. The Ravens should be Super Bowl contenders again this season and have a perfect blend of talent and experience to exceed the high standard they have set for themselves. These are the faces of the 2021 Baltimore Ravens.
2021 Baltimore Ravens: Faces of the Team
The first of faces of the Baltimore Ravens is Lamar Jackson. After winning a unanimous NFL MVP in 2019, there is no doubt that Jackson is the face of the Ravens franchise. Since taking over the reins from Joe Flacco back during Week 10 of 2018, he has established himself as an elite starting quarterback and perhaps the most fun player to watch in the NFL. He was named the number-one player on the NFL’s Top-100 list going into 2020 despite being just 23 years old at the time.
Despite playing less than three full seasons in the NFL, Jackson’s resume is immense. He is currently the single-season record holder in rushing yards by a quarterback, has the highest career passing touchdown percentage in the Super Bowl era, and is one of only six quarterbacks in NFL history to achieve a perfect passer rating in multiple games. He has also set multiple Ravens franchise records. Through his first 41 career games, Jackson holds the single-season records for the most passing touchdowns, the highest passer rating, completion percentage, and is the first Ravens quarterback to be named a first-team All-Pro.
Jackson’s style of quarterbacking is polarizing, to say the least. His ability to create something out of nothing with his legs is unparalleled and the Ravens have built their offense, and franchise around his unique athleticism. The Ravens were in a rut prior to Jackson finding his form as a rookie in 2018 and are now coming off of three straight playoff appearances. Jackson’s presence transformed his team and he will always be the center of attention on an incredibly deep and talented Ravens squad.
No team other than the Ravens has a kicker as one of the faces of their franchise. But no other team has Justin Tucker. Since entering the league in NFL, Tucker has firmly established himself as the best kicker in football so much so that when he does not have an All-Pro caliber season, it is considered an off-year. He holds the highest field goal kicking percentage in NFL history at 90.7 percent and has missed just six of his 360 career PAT attempts.
Since being signed as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2012 season, he has essentially done everything asked of a kicker and has reset the standard for excellence at his position. Tucker won a Super Bowl with the Ravens as a rookie in 2012, after kicking woes kept them out of the big game a year prior, has been named a first-team All-Pro four times, was a unanimous All-Decade selection, and has the most seasons (six) with 30 or more field goals made. He has also scored the most points amongst kickers and made the most field goals since 2012.
With the form he has displayed since entering the league, Tucker has only one question left to answer; is he the greatest kicker of all time? There are only four kickers currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with Adam Vinatieri set to be the fifth and Tucker will be the sixth. As long as Tucker is on the Ravens roster, Baltimore’s special teams will consistently by an x-factor to the team’s success.
Coming out of 2019, the Ravens defense was great. However, there was not a definite face of the defense. Baltimore has a history of strong play on the defensive side of the ball but the biggest names such as Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, and Terrell Suggs have all been long-removed from the team. The new face of the defense is Marlon Humphrey. Humphrey is the best player on a secondary that is elite and he has rightfully established himself as a top-five cornerback in the league.
Humphrey is a rare breed at cornerback. Very few modern NFL cornerbacks are asked to follow around the opposing team’s best receiver but Humphrey is able to not only follow receivers, but he does it from both the inside and outside. While the Ravens have the buffer of having a second elite cornerback in Marcus Peters, Humphrey has been maybe the best man-to-man cornerback in the NFL over the past three seasons. And, he added a new dimension to his game in 2020. The Ravens corner led the NFL in forced fumbles last season after his punch-out against ball carriers became one of the scariest weapons in the arsenal of any NFL player.
While Humphrey has become one of the best players in the NFL on the field, he has also become one of the most interesting off of it. From his hot takes on Twitter to his decision to live in a camper over the off-season, Humphrey is never short of interesting content. The Ravens typically do not have players known for their big personalities but Humphrey is a player who is both dominant on the field and fun to follow of it. He is clearly the face of Baltimore’s defense.