The Baltimore Beatdown gang get together to give out their mid-season awards
With the Ravens enjoying their bye week, the Baltimore Beatdown crew came together to share their midseason superlatives.
Lamar Jackson — The low-hanging fruit is still worth picking and Jackson is unquestionably their MVP. But, how did he get here?
Early in the year he ‘put on the cape’ and made big-time throws to wide receivers Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay and tight end Mark Andrews. But in the past two games, he’s been without his Bateman and Andrews for six of eight quarters and seemingly thrived.
Though his outright dominance hasn’t been as noticeable, the offense is leading the charge in these games. They’ve led by 10+ points in all nine matchups. They’re scoring at high rates and Jackson is the direct link to it all.
Pair this with him being the No. 1 ball-carrier in yards per carry and No. 8 in total yards and it’s easy to state Jackson is the Ravens’ MVP. — Kyle Barber
Lamar Jackson — No player in the NFL does more to elevate his teammates than Lamar Jackson. His unique talents puts the blockers, receivers, rushers and defense in advantageous situations on nearly every down. Considering his supporting cast, Lamar is probably the most valuable player in the history of the franchise. — Vasilis Lericos
Lamar Jackson — Jackson has increased his pre-snap control and mastery, checking protections, killing plays and orchestrating one of the most efficient offenses in the league despite a revolving door of players returning, or being lost to injury. He’s played a calculated and smart brand of football and been lethal on third down. What Jackson does mentally in the run game both pre-snap at in the option game are vastly underrated in terms of difficulty. He’s playing elite football right now ranking in the top six or better in EPA, QBR, touchdown%, Big Time Throw% and much more despite playing a defensive gauntlet over the first half of the season. — Spencer Schultz
Lamar Jackson — While it’s not as notable as in years past, this team still rises and falls with the wave of Lamar Jackson. Jackson has taken on an even bigger role than ever before, being responsible for more at the line of scrimmage and handling more mental steps than years prior. Lamar Jackson has transitioned from being a big action movie star, delivering fantastical blows for a crowd’s spectacle viewing, to being the silent ninja, lethal and efficient with no doubts. While the Ravens of 2022 are seemingly going to lean on the defense, it all starts with #8 leading another young offense, lack with superstars, and keeping the ball out of opposing offenses’ hands. — Zach Canter
Lamar Jackson – While Jackson has struggled with consistency in the passing game this season, he is still playing at a high level and is without a doubt the team’s most valuable player and one of the most valuable players throughout the entire NFL. Even without his top two targets in tight end Mark Andrews and wide receiver Rashod Bateman, Jackson has still commanded the offense to success and has often put the team on his back with his one-of-one running ability in crunch time. Jackson will have to continue to don the Superman cape for the remainder of the season with a questionable receiving corps — as he has for much of his career. — Dustin Cox
Lamar Jackson — Jackson has played the role of a true point guard this year. He’s elevated the play of those around him and played efficient football. Despite a revolving door of skill position players around him, Jackson has navigated one of the league’s most efficient offenses. The Ravens don’t have a top-ranked rushing attack without Jackson’s Top-5 production on the ground. And after a few uneven performances, Jackson hasn’t turned the ball over in three consecutive games. There’s room for some positive regression in his passing yardage and touchdowns totals moving forward, too. — Frank Platko
Offensive Player of the Year
Mark Andrews — You can make the case for Duvernay here. His playmaking ability as a receiver, runner and special teams savant have fair claim. It’s hard not to take Duvernay because it’s a refreshing take instead of copy + paste from last season. But, Andrews feels like the true answer.
Andrews leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, first downs and touchdowns. When Andrews is on the field teams key in on him, and he relishes the opportunity, according to tight ends coach George Godsey.”
He told the unit before the first game, ‘You can count on me.’ And I think he’s excited by that, because it’s a challenge,” Godsey said. “I think everyone in our locker room knows that he’s going to come through, too.” — Kyle Barber
Mark Andrews — Andrews has cemented his place as one of the top overall receivers in the NFL. With one of the largest target shares in the league, Mark often finds a way to produce gaudy stats despite defenses designed to limit his impact. — Vasilis Lericos
Offensive Line — The Ravens offensive line deserves flowers for keeping Lamar Jackson upright and being the driving force behind a dominant rushing attack. With a revolving door at running back, wide receiver and tight end, Baltimore’s front five, alongside fullback Pat Ricard and Josh Oliver, have dominated. — Spencer Schultz
Devin Duvernay — Through all the talk before and during the season about adding another wide receiver, Duvernay has leaped this season, taking a full grasp of an important role in this offense. From being behind only Mark Andrews in receiving yards to having the highest yard per carry on the team during his limited seven rushing attempts, to being the only player in the NFL this season with a kick return for a touchdown. He’s made spectacular contested catches and dazzling toe drags, and now, he’s going to be pushed into the #1 wide receiver role. I, for one, can’t wait to see how he finishes this year. — Zach Canter
Mark Andrews — For the sake of this exercise I will give this award to someone other than Jackson, and who better than his go-to superstar tight end? Despite defenses knowing where the ball will be going on most critical passing downs, Andrews is still able to make the needed plays more often than not. Andrews has solidified himself alongside Travis Kelce as the league’s top two tight ends. — Dustin Cox
Mark Andrews — Andrews’ stock is down a bit at the moment after a rare zero-catch outing in Week 8, followed by injury absences in Week 9 and 10. However, through the first six games of the season, Andrews was still easily the most productive Ravens’ offensive playmaker. He caught five touchdown passes and exceed 89 receiving yards in four games. The Ravens have won the past two games with Andrews absent, but that doesn’t diminish his importance to the team’s offensive success. When the Ravens need a first down or touchdown through the air, the ball is still going his way more often than not — and he delivers time and time again. It’s difficult to separate any one offensive lineman to award OPOY to but Andrews is a worthy default choice. — Frank Platko
Defensive Player of the Year
Justin Houston — The Ravens defense needed juice in the pass rush this season and Houston has been the guy. Some may call this recency bias what with Houston coming off a 2.5 sack, one interception game but he’s notched two sacks in three-straight contests. Houston’s been a force on the edge and with a full rotation of outside linebackers adding Tyus Bowser, Jason Pierre-Paul and David Ojabo, Houston will be given greater opportunities to demonstrate his Hall of Fame prowess. — Kyle Barber
Marlon Humphrey — After a mixed 2021 season, Marlo has regained his All-Pro form. He is allowing less than 30 yards per game into his coverage and makes splash plays on a frequent basis. Humphrey’s lockdown ability truly unlocks the defense. — Vasilis Lericos
Marlon Humphrey — While Justin Houston will likely garner the most votes and Patrick Queen has made an impact, there’s no greater example of Humphrey’s value and skill than when he missed two drives against Miami because of a hamstring tweak. Humphrey has been a warrior in coverage as he’s returned to an outside heavy role. His level of play is unwavering and his high level play in one on one situations frees up so much for Baltimore. — Spencer Schultz
Marlon Humphrey — This one should be easy. Humphrey has stayed healthy and his impact can’t be overstated. The difference between when he is on the field and when he isn’t is palpable. Just look at the Miami game, where they came storming back against the Ravens and scored four touchdowns in the 15 snaps Marlon was out with injury. He hasn’t let up a touchdown all year according to PFF and week after week, takes away #1 wide receivers. This defense simply isn’t elite without his play. — Zach Canter
Marlon Humphrey — Following a down year in 2021, Marlon Humphrey is once again playing like one of the league’s best cornerbacks this season. Humphrey performs whatever assignment given his way at a high level each and every week while also displaying his growth as a team leader when the team — and more specifically the secondary — struggled earlier this season. — Dustin Cox
Marlon Humphrey — You could make a case for a few different players as the Ravens’ DPOY. Humphrey is the most deserving choice for his high-level play and importance to the team’s defensive success. With some moving parts in the secondary, Humphrey has been a steadying force and is once again playing elite coverage. He’s the most important player on the Ravens’ defense. — Frank Platko
Coach of the Year
Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman — The Ravens boast the No. 3 offense by DVOA. They’re the No. 1 rushing team and No. 4 in passing. This is not simply due to Jackson, but by an entire offense led by their coordinator.
Roman’s playcalling has improved. The unique plays to create first downs and get guys open has increased and teams don’t accidentally stumble into nine-straight games with 10-point leads.
The offense is humming and the tandem of Roman and Jackson have put points on the board and have one of the best offenses in all of football. — Kyle Barber
Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald — Growing pains were expected with a first time NFL coordinator, roster turnover and delayed injury returns. Nonetheless, Macdonald has found his groove over the last month, combining deceptive pressures and increased zone calls to tally much improved takeaway totals. — Vasilis Lericos
Head Coach John Harbaugh — Harbs parted ways with Martindale, a scrutinized decision, to bring in Mike Macdonald, who had only one year of coordinator experience and none in the NFL. He kept Greg Roman, which was also scrutinized, changed the Ravens camp to steer clear of injuries, and has managed an unreal amount of players returning from injury or losing more while remaining steadfast. The Ravens are well coached and disciplined despite so many moving parts and their depth speaks to his acumen. — Spencer Schultz
Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald — Though it took a couple of weeks for Macdonald to become better acclimated to the NFL level, it’s so impressive what Macdonald has done in his debut year as defensive coordinator. A guy who had only a single year calling plays at a collegiate level and none at the NFL level, he’s come in as a young 35-year-old and his heading up a unit that is looking to be elite by December. They are third in takeaways, fourth in sacks, and sixth in 3rd-down defense. The unit has gotten infinitely better since the collapse at Miami that now seems like a fluke. They’ve even doubled down on that unit with the Roquan Smith trade, proving they expect this defense to be a major factor in a playoff run. And it starts with the man heading up the unit, Mike Macdonald. The Ravens should consider themselves lucky if they manage to keep him this off-season. — Zach Canter
Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman — Roman is a polarizing figure, but the results speak for themselves in a season where he has been without his top wide receiver for much of the year and his All-Pro tight end for much of the past few weeks. — Dustin Cox
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