The Baltimore Ravens were already a top Super Bowl contender six weeks into the 2020 NFL season, but they just took their roster over the top with a blockbuster trade.
On Thursday morning, the Ravens poached Pro Bowl DE Yannick Ngakoue from the Minnesota Vikings for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick. The Ravens are officially all-in on a Super Bowl title this season.
Baltimore trades for Yannick Ngakoue
The Ravens are one of the most complete teams in the NFL this season. We all know about Lamar Jackson’s magic, but it’s been a complete team effort thus far.
The defense has given up the second-fewest points in the league through six weeks. They also have 11 takeaways, which is tied for second in the NFL behind the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens’ pass rush has been elite this season. It’s totaled 22 sacks through six games, which is also the second-most in the league.
But that isn’t stopping them from bulking up the defensive line even more. Baltimore just traded for former Vikings and Jaguars pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue. The Ravens are giving the Vikings just a third- and a fifth-round pick for the star DE.
Ngakoue is one of the most talented pass rushers in the NFL at just 25 years old. He made the Pro Bowl in 2017 after racking up 12 sacks and a league-high six forced fumbles. Ngakoue already has five sacks and two forced fumbles this season, and he’s well on his way to another Pro Bowl nod.
The Ravens might now have the best defense in the NFL
The Ravens already had a top defensive front in the league before the trade, but Ngakoue makes them downright scary. The former Viking will join a group led by five-time Pro Bowler Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, and Derek Wolfe up front.
Matthew Judon, Patrick Queen, and L.J. Fort also make up one of the most impressive linebacking cores in the league. And did we mention the secondary? It’s not asinine to say the Ravens have the best group of players at every level of the defense in the NFL.
You better hold that ball tight when you’re running through Baltimore’s revamped defense. They’ve forced the most fumbles in the league through six weeks, and they just added one of the best in the business and forcing strip-sacks.
Can the Ravens make a Super Bowl run in 2020?
The Ravens live by the age-old adage, ‘defense wins championships.’ They’re an old-school franchise that rode elite defenses to Super Bowl victories in 2001 and 2013, and they’re looking to get back to that identity.
Lamar Jackson can thrive in a run-first offense while the defense holds the opposing team under 20 points. If he doesn’t have to do everything himself, he’ll feel much more comfortable in the playoffs.
The Ravens have now surrounded the former MVP with speedy weapons on offense and an elite defense on the other side of the ball. It’s Super Bowl or bust now for Baltimore, but can they pull it off?
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference