Last season overview
Baltimore again rode Ray Rice to a 12 win season, with that third ranked defense still killing people. The Ravens were still only a kick away at New England from going after the ring.
Ben Grubbs is going to hurt, but the scarier problem is on defense. Not only did they lose their defensive co-ordinator, but OLB Jarrett Johnson, Cory Redding and Brandon McKinney. Then throw Suggs injury. If that defense still is in the top 10 at the end of the year, Ray Lewis is looking down at Lawrence Taylor at the Hall of Fame.
They did add. . . Yeah.
I do like the draft. A 12 win team should not get 2 starters in the SECOND ROUND. Upshaw is going to be good, and Osemele is just waiting on McKinnie to teach him the game, or slip a tiny bit. Gradkowski should also get some PT behind 14 year vet Matt Birk. Watch Streeter, he could be a steal, if he grows up.
Offense: OK, we got a top 10 QB, HoF level RB, 80 catch level WR1, and this was a middle of the pack offense? I hated Cam Cameron in Carolina. This could be an interesting year for Harbaugh to get this team moving, especially in the red zone.
I’ve gone over the losses, let’s look at the positives. Ed Reed is still there, Ray Lewis is still there. McPhee, McClain, and Webb are there. They will be just fine, but if that offense don’t get that scoring fixed- allowing 16.6 ppg isn’t going to cut it. In each loss, they scored 17 points or less- and scored 20 in NE.
3 games to watch
Week 3 NE
Cincy and Philly should be good games, but the Ravens are aiming a bit higher, NE is the target, and getting them at home should give them a leg up on tiebreakers. Considering Cleveland is next, If any member of that defense can walk off the field, Ray and Ed will let them have it.
Week 7 @Hou
The other team they may have to go through, the Texans are just like Pittsburgh, great-level QB, stiff running game, and a blitz defense. Should be good.
Week 13 Pitt
With only 2 AFC games left (Den/Cin) this could have major tie-break implications.
Wins: Cin,Cle ,@Cle, Oak, @Was
Tossups: @Phi, NE, Dal, @Hou, @SD, Pit,
My Prediction 11-5
by Dan Vachalek
Well, the Ravens have a great offense as Ray Rice should perform very nicely and continue to be one of the best backs in the league. The quarterback situation is in good shape and I think the passing game will be good, too. The defense isn’t going to be as good as it has been in the past, but I still think it is going to be good. I expect them to win the AFC North.
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