3rd Baltimore Ravens – 10-6
This will probably be another point that many people disagree with, but I see them taking a step back this year. Injuries, hold outs, age among other factors will cause a team to fall back. I still think they may get into the playoffs, though I have to look at the schedules of the AFC West before I decide on that matter.
The Ravens offense just doesn’t instill a lot of fear. I’m in the camp that Joe Flacco is a bottom 3rd QB in the league. He has been largely carried by a fantastic defense, and one of the best RB’s in the league at catching the ball. The longer that Ray Rice holds out this off-season the less and less afraid of this offense I am. I don’t think he will miss any games, but if he miss a portion of training camp it could come back to hurt him as it has so many others. They have a nice pair of WR’s in Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. We will see if new LG, 37 year old Bobbie Williams can hold up on that line the whole year.
The defense has really carried this team for the last decade. We hear this every year I know, but EVENTUALLY age will have to catch up to them. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, as great as they are (which is HOF’ers to be exact) will eventually decline. Terrell Suggs being hurt, possibly for the whole season may be the biggest problem this defense has. Where will that consistent pass rush come from.
They do have one of the most dominant defensive players in the NFL in Haloti Ngata who will continue to wreak havoc on teams. They also lost defensive coordinator Chuck Pagno to the Colts.