Ravens' Defense Will Hold Them Back in AFC Playoff Race

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey. / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries have been a recurring theme with the Baltimore Ravens all season, and it may finally be too much for the team to overcome.

After losing their three starting running backs in the preseason, the Baltimore defense is now starting to look worse for ware, likely losing Marlon Humphrey for the year against the Steelers last Sunday.

Ironically, Baltimore's offense, despite the injuries, has pushed it to the top of the AFC North. Lamar Jackson has carried the team to comeback wins against the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, and Minnesota Vikings at different points this season in spite of a suspect defense.

Now, without Humphrey, the Ravens may be in for a treacherous final few weeks of the season down their No. 1 corner.

The secondary was in such dire condition that coach John Harbaugh attempted a two-point conversion as opposed to kicking a game tying extra point at the end of regulation in hopes of getting out of Heinz Field with a win instead of trying his luck in overtime.

Baltimore's defense is outside the top 20 in defensive EPA/Play and are far from locking up the division despite being in first at the moment. Two games separate first and last in the AFC North through Week 13.

Looking ahead, the Ravens have physical matchups against each AFC North team and two of the top five offenses in the league on an EPA/Play basis in the Packers and Rams. The five week gauntlet starts on Sunday in Cleveland against the Browns. Baltimore is a 2.5-point underdog at WynnBET Sportsbook.

While many will look to some sloppy turnovers from Jackson as a concerning point for the Ravens, the health of their defense is starting to become a serious issue that can hold the team back from a postseason run.

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