Ravens’ special teams headed in right direction for next season

OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens ranked in the middle of the NFL for special teams last season, according to Rick Gosselin’s annual rankings.

While that’s acceptable for most franchises, the team has prided itself for being among the league’s best.

The Ravens could be better next season with the addition of Chris Board and the return of Malik Harrison and Arthur Maulet, who were both re-signed this offseason. Board will replace Del’Shawn Phillips, who signed with the Texans in free agency. Phillips played on a career-high 375 special teams snaps, and Board will get the same type of playing time in 2024

The Ravens were 16th in Gosselin’s ranking, which ranks each team in 22 kicking-game categories and assigns points for the best to the worst — the lower the total number the better.

The top five teams were 1. Houston Texans (236), 2. New Orleans Saints (252); 3 New York Jets (278); 4. Las Vegas Raiders (284.5) and 5. LA Chargers (287.5). Only one of those teams — the Texass — made the playoffs.

The bottom five were No. 32. LA Rams (493); 31. Miami Dolphins (479); 30. Washington Commanders (455.5); 29. Green Bay Packers (452); and 28; Buffalo Bills 449.5. Four of those teams — Rams, Packers, Dolphins, and Bills — made the postseason.

The Ravens were tied for first with the New York Giants with three takeaways. However, Baltimore was tied for last with Washington and the Rams with three blocked kicks.

In addition to Board, Harrison, and Mauley, the Ravens have one of the best kickers in the history of the NFL in Justin Tucker.  Punter Jordan Stout had a solid season after some struggles in his rookie year. The kicking game has continuity with long-snapper Nick Moore.

Tylan Wallace takes over the starting job as the returner for Devin Duvernay, who signed with the Jaguars this offseason. Wallace returned a punt for a game-winning 76-yard touchdown against the Rams last season and the Ravens like his potential moving forward.

“I think it’s a guy that understands [and has] natural ability with the ball in his hands,” special teams coach Chris Horton said about Wallace. “It’s those things, and it’s the right ball, and he is making great decisions. He’s making the right decisions, and again, he is taking advantage of those opportunities. He’s a skilled player. He’s good with the ball in his hands. He can make guys miss, and as we found out, he’s a strong runner. And so, that’s [all] good to see.” 


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