These aren't your father's Ravens.

Heck, these Ravens - the ones that rattled off 12 straight wins to claim the AFC North and top seed in the conference - are vastly different from the overpowering and intimidating units that won two Super Bowls and contended for several others over the last 20 years.

For years, roughness and toughness defined the franchise. Ray Lewis established that culture, players like Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, and Haloti Ngata upheld it, and Terrell Suggs preserved it.

The elder birds have moved on, but their legacy remains visible in Baltimore. "Play Like A Raven" signs are plastered in M&T Bank Stadium. The same words are printed across merchandise and appear on social media - only now, they have new meaning.


"He's a playmaker."

That's what Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after Baltimore traded back into the first round to draft Heisman Trophy quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2018.

"We do some analytics, and when the ball is in his hands, there hasn't been a better playmaker, really, in the last few years coming out."

Jackson was the fifth signal-caller taken that draft, following Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen. Known for electric foot speed rather than an accurate arm, skeptics questioned whether he could stick at quarterback in the NFL. The Ravens asked other questions, thus beginning their journey into a futuristic space.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense?" Harbaugh pondered after watching Jackson at 2018 minicamp.