How soon NFL fans forget. It was just 2012 season that the Baltimore Ravens went 10-6 in the regular season, marched through the AFC playoffs and won the Super Bowl 34-31 against a favored San Francisco 49er team. Joe Flacco got a big new contract in the off season and–for a while, at least–there was talk about another NFL dynasty. Of course, within weeks linebacker Ray Lewis retired, and other players from their vaunted defense left in free agency. Yet, despite those changes, there were still high hopes for the 2013 season.
Then, crash. The Ravens offense sputtered, the defense fluttered and they ended up with an 8-8 record, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Workhorse running back Ray Rice was either hurt or ineffective most of the season and Flacco made fans wonder if they had over paid AGAIN for a mediocre quarterback. It’s a season the city of Baltimore would like to forget. So, what are that betting expectations for the Ravens this season? Bet now on the Ravens and read the latest news here.
So, which Ravens team will show up in 2014? First off, it seems that Ray Rice will–despite legal problems off the field–be closer to 100% this season, helping take the pressure off of Flacco and the passing game. They have a new offensive coordinator (finally!), an improved offensive line and Baltimore also added Mr. Dependable, Steve Smith, at wide receiver. They should also get tight end Dennis Pitta for a full season and he will be a force to be reckoned with with in the red zone and could be a top five pass catcher at his position this year.
The defense, while still developing, should come together this year and be an improvement over the 2013 squad. They’ve had a year to work together and should have more help from the ground game to keep them off the field for longer periods of the game. That, combined with a few more points scored on offense, will at least make the Ravens defense seem better, even if statistically they’re still mediocre. And, on the plus side, they play in a division with teams that are also rebuilding this year.
We think the Ravens are looking at another 10-6 season, and could–if the offense gels–make it past the first round of the AFC playoffs. They are not a Super Bowl caliber team this season, but fans and foes should see a much improved squad that should be able to hang with all but the elite teams (Broncos, Patriots) in their league. Fantasy football fans hope to see a lot of points scored on offense this season, and Flacco and wide receiver Torrey Smith could help some team owners win their leagues.