Peter King Predicts Ravens Win AFC North; Odafe Oweh No. 2 in DPOY Voting
It’s prediction season and longtime NFL scribe Peter King is a bellwether around the league.
King is bullish on the Ravens in 2022, predicting them to win the AFC North over the defending conference champion Cincinnati Bengals.
King has the Ravens as the No. 2 seed in the playoffs (which doesn’t come with a bye anymore) and beating the Miami Dolphins in the Wild-Card round before falling to the Los Angeles Chargers in the Divisional round.
Of course, King cites Ravens’ improved health from last season as a main factor in their resurgence – specifically pointing to Lamar Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters and Ronnie Stanley (and there are others he left out).
“There is hope for Stanley to play early in the season,” King wrote. “But Stanley’s got much to prove after missing 26 games in the past two years with a nagging ankle injury.”
Ultimately, King picked Baltimore to win the AFC North because “I think the Ravens have a lot going for them.”
“First-year defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has been a big change from Wink Martindale. Whereas Martindale wanted to dominate the offense every day in practice, Macdonald uses practice to experiment and try to get better. Edge player Odafe Oweh could be one of the beneficiaries , a surprise rising star in year two; how crazy is it he had zero sacks as a Penn State senior in 2020?” King wrote.
“On the other side of the ball, look for fourth-round tight end Isaiah Likely, a training-camp revelation, to be in a lot of two-tight-end formations with Mark Andrews (107 catches, 1,361 yards last year). When the offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, isn’t a bombs-away guy, that makes for loads of possibilities with the tight ends in intermediate spaces. Of course, the key will be Jackson. It sounds dubious that he’ll get a contract done before opening day, but I doubt it will affect his performance much.”
One of the most eye-opening predictions from King was about Oweh, who he predicts to finish second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting behind Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and ahead of Steelers edge rusher TJ Watt, who won the award last year.
Oweh had five sacks and three forced fumbles in his rookie season, and his training camp has many pundits around Baltimore (and now nationally) predicting a monster sophomore season.
In his 2022 Ravens predictions, The Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer wrote that Oweh will become the Ravens’ first player to reach double-digit sacks since 2017.
“We saw the wrath of Oweh 2.0 throughout training camp and in brief glimpses of preseason action,” Shaffer wrote. “He was more violent with his hands, harder to hit cleanly as he came around the edge. In other words, he was unblockable… He will play far more snaps this year under a new defensive coordinator, Macdonald, who squeezed incredible production from a pair of talented edge rushers at Michigan last year. Everything points to him becoming the team’s most productive sack artist since Terrell Suggs, who hit double digits for the last time (with 11) five years ago.”
Last year, King envisioned another huge Year 2 Ravens defender breakout in this same column, predicting that Justin Madubuike would finish third in the DPOY voting.
In other 2022 predictions, King thinks Jackson will finish third in MVP voting (behind Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert) and John Harbaugh will again be the Coach of the Year, just as he was in 2019.
“Harbaugh could do it if the Ravens are the only team to go from worst (in the AFC North) to first in 2022,” King wrote.