After the free agency frenzy and NFL draft, no team faces a more boom-or-bust 2022 season than the Baltimore Ravens. Recall that in 2021, they did not have Lamar Jackson for five games and missed several other impact players for a full season. They also contended with a resurgent Cincinnati Bengals squad in their division. Still, Baltimore finished 8-9 in 2021. With Jackson and most of their top guys back, the Ravens should fare better in 2022—unless other curveballs are headed their way, of course. Here are four Ravens 2022 bold predictions as Week 1 of the regular season fast approaches.

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4. Lamar Jackson shows out despite contract issue with Ravens

Star quarterback and 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson frequently makes the news because he is incredibly talented at what he does. Jackson has smashed multiple records since taking over for an injured Joe Flacco late in the 2018 season, becoming the second-ever unanimous NFL MVP and leading Baltimore to a 37-12 record as a starter. Despite missing the final four games of the 2021 season with a bone bruise, he was in the MVP race once again earlier in the year with his singular impact through the air and on the ground.

Jackson was voted the league’s 36th-best player by his teammates and peers heading into the 2022 season, a decline of 12 spots compared to last year’s rankings, when he came in at 24th overall. He will clearly play with a chip on his shoulder in the Ravens’ 2022 campaign.

Jackson’s ranking may be regarded low, but missing a chunk of the season might have affected his place on the list. His dual-threat ability still gives the Ravens the best chance to win on the field, and he’ll look to rebound as the quarterback continues his quest to bring the Lombardi Trophy to Baltimore.

Of course, the dark cloud hovering over Jackson and the Ravens front office is his pending contract negotiations. Jackson is asking for more than what Deshaun Watson currently got from the Cleveland Browns, and so far, the Ravens haven’t taken the bait. Whether that affects Jackson’s actual on-field performance still remains to be seen, but the smart bet is he’ll continue performing at an elite level.

3. Mark Andrews nets over 1,000 yards again

Baltimore also retains tight end Mark Andrews, who had a strong season in 2021. He broke the team record for most single-season receiving yards with 1,361 yards to close the season, shattering a mark that stood for 25 years. Andrews, a favorite target of Jackson’s since the two arrived in Baltimore in 2018, will be another top receiving threat alongside 2021 draft pick Rashod Bateman.

Not surprisingly, Andrews is frequently mentioned as one of the league’s three best tight ends. That’s along with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce and San Francisco 49ers weapon George Kittle, both of whom have had very impressive careers to date.

Andrews was even named to the Pro Bowl and garnered First Team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press last season. With 104 catches, he broke the franchise’s all-time receptions record.

Looking ahead to 2022, the Andrews-Jackson connection should continue to be healthy and productive for the Baltimore Ravens.

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2. J.K. Dobbins is (kind of) back

Dobbins was activated from the physically unable to perform list on August 8th, nearly a year after tearing his left ACL in last season’s preseason finale. In his early workouts back, he appeared to lack his customary burst, but he has been more explosive since.

During the early portion of Wednesday’s practice, Dobbins was moving well, taking repetitions on the blocking sled and making crisp cutbacks.

The third-year running back has worked hard in rehab after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year. Whether Dobbins is actually 100 percent for Week 1 remains to be seen. Still, head coach John Harbaugh is pleased with his progress.

“He looks better every day; he looks good,” Harbaugh told ESPN. “His quickness is kind of back. So, I’m excited about where he’s at.”

Having Dobbins back will be huge for the Ravens. Take note that Baltimore struggled to run the ball in the preseason without Dobbins. They had to make do with Mike Davis and Justice Hill, but Ravens fans are hoping Dobbins can correct that this coming season.

1. Ravens win the AFC North

The Ravens’ health status should be much better in 2022 than last year. First, their defensive secondary should bounce back strong. Next, Jackson should connect well with a youthful receiving corps. He is, after all, still one of the finest QBs on the planet. Third, Justin Tucker is still the NFL’s best kicker.

All of those factors should result in the Ravens reclaiming their spot atop the AFC North.

Keep in mind that injuries wreaked havoc on the Baltimore during the previous NFL season. With most of the team’s core back and healthy, everything should be humming in 2022. The Ravens clearly have a solid opportunity to win the division, reestablishing themselves among the AFC’s elite.

Having said that, the AFC North race will most likely be decided in the last game of the season. That’s when the Ravens and Bengals — the two AFC North powerhouses — meet in Cincinnati. It would be intriguing to observe if last year’s run of injuries were random occurrences or a foreshadowing of things to come.

The Baltimore Ravens now have the offense, defense and special teams to create a lot of noise in the 2022 NFL season. Fans anticipate hearing them loud and clear. Simply put, as long as they stay healthy, it would be a massive surprise if the Ravens did not win the division and make the playoffs.