The Baltimore Ravens have a legitimate shot at going from worst to first in the ultra-competitive AFC North in 2022, if they can avoid last year's injury curse.
John Harbaugh's team failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017 as injuries bit them hard, with star left tackle Ronnie Stanley out for all but one game and starting QB Lamar Jackson sidelined in the final weeks of the season.
Jackson's long-term future with the franchise needs to be locked up soon to remove a needless distraction, but most of the elements for a successful year appear to be in place.
NFL, 2022/23 season
Across the United States, games also scheduled for London, Munich and Mexico City
September 8th 2022 - February 12th 2023
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NFL Game Pass, ESPN, CBS, FOX, NBC, NFL Network
BUF Bills +600, TB Buccaneers +700, KC Chiefs +1000, LA Rams +1000, GB Packers +1200
4th AFC North (8-9)
There's cautious optimism about what the Ravens can achieve if they avoid the bad luck that dogged them last season.
They have a Super Bowl winner as coach, the 2019 regular season MVP under center and arguably one of the best defensive units in football.
At +160 they are the favourites to finish above all their rivals in the division and that isn't as strange as it may seem.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been saddled with a tough schedule, with their 2022 opponents posting a higher winning percentage last year than those of any other AFC team.
Meanwhile, both the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers are bedding in new quarterbacks after moving on from Baker Mayfield and Ben Roethlisberger respectively.
The Ravens, who are -150 to make the playoffs, should earn a wild card berth at the very least and, if they can get it together in January, will be a dangerous opponent to anyone in the postseason.
The Ravens will travel to the Big Apple for their season-opening clash this year as they go up against the New York Jets.
The Jets finished 4-13 last year amid some typically scratchy play from a rookie quarterback and with a rookie head coach at the helm too.
But Gang Green drafted well and will be full of early-season optimism when the Ravens arrive - making this match-up potentially trickier than it might look on paper.
The six intra-division match-ups will be massive again this year, with Baltimore needing to vastly improve on their 1-5 record against fellow AFC North teams from last year.
The Ravens will need to be at their best throughout late September and October when they face the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Bengals, Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers during five consecutive weeks.
Only two of those games are on the road, but they must deal with Tom Brady and Tampa Bay on a short week.
Worse is to come in December and January when the NFL has scheduled the Ravens' three AFC North road games, so it could be a battered and bruised Baltimore roster that enters the playoffs.
John Harbaugh spent a decade with the Philadelphia Eagles as special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach before being hired in Maryland.
He took Baltimore to the AFC Championship game in his first season as a head coach and, after another near miss in the AFC title game of 2011, to the Super Bowl in 2012.
Facing a San Francisco 49ers team coached by his younger brother Jim, Harbaugh's Ravens held on to win 34-31 in dramatic fashion.
However, four playoff appearances in nine years since that lone Super Bowl triumph could land him on the hot seat if the Ravens don't go on another deep playoff run again soon.
FS Marcus Williams (New Orleans Saints)
DL Michael Pierce (Minnesota Vikings)
CB Kyle Fuller (Denver Broncos)
RT Morgan Moses (New York Jets)
RB Mike Davis (Atlanta Falcons)
EDGE Steven Means (Atlanta Falcons)
SS Anthony Levine
CB Tavon Young (Chicago Bears)
OT Alejandro Villanueva
TE Eric Tomlinson (Denver Broncos)
CB Anthony Averett (Las Vegas Raiders)
C Bradley Bozeman (Carolina Panthers)
QB Josh Johnson (Denver Broncos)
LB Chris Board (Detroit Lions)
DT Justin Ellis (New York Giants)
CB Chris Westry (Carolina Panthers)
FS DeShon Elliott (Detroit Lions)
WR Sammy Watkins (Green Bay Packers)
WR Miles Boykin (Pittsburgh Steelers)
WR Marquise Brown (Arizona Cardinals)
RB Ty'Son Williams (Indianapolis Colts)
CB Khalil Dorsey (New York Giants)
Kyle Hamilton (1st round)
Jackson was on course to surpass 1,000 rushing yards for his third straight season when injury struck late last season.
The dual-threat QB will be the key man to stop for all opposing defenses again, while Campbell's veteran leadership on the other side of the ball will be vital to a group that features several young players with star potential.
Hamilton fell into their lap as the perfect draft choice to bolster their defensive backfield and Oweh can build on a successful rookie year in 2021.