2012 Record: 10-6; 1st Place
2013 Prediction: 9-7
Confidence in Pick: 30%
Losses: Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Darnelle Ellerbe, Anquan Boldin
Pickups: Elvis Dumervil, Chris Canty, Michael Huff, Matt Elam
Reasons for Optimism:
Defending Super Bowl Champs – No matter what they lost or how good you thought they were in 2012, they still are the Champs, and the Champs need to be respected. This is not the 2012 Ravens, but they are no slouch either.
Ray Rice – One of the best RBs in the NFL and most dynamic playmakers. If the Ravens lean on him, he can carry them – for some odd reason, the Ravens have seemed to not involve Rice as much as they should (1,143 yards is good, but for a guy that averages 4.4 ypc and has no injury history, he should have more than 257 carries).
Defensive Line – Though the Ravens lost a lot on offense and defense in the offseason, one place they should be stronger is along the line. With Ngata, Canty, Suggs, Dumervil and Upshaw the Ravens should still be able to get after the QB, and any time you can get to the QB, your defense will look good.