Why the Baltimore Ravens Are by Far the Most Overrated Team in the NFL

Nick KostoraContributor IIINovember 26, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 11: Wide receiver Torrey Smith #82 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders at M&T Bank Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore Ravens won, 55-20. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens' 9-2 record would suggest they are an elite team, but the Ravens are actually the NFL's most overrated.

This is not to say that Baltimore is not good, but the team is not at a level consistent with the most elite units in football.

The Ravens rank in the bottom half of the league against both the run and the pass. They under-utilize Ray Rice and fail to establish the running game early and often in most contests. Rice has been given 20 handoffs or more just four times all season.

Baltimore has played in eight games decided by 10 points or fewer and won seven of those contests, but there are major flaws on this football team that continue to be exposed. The offense is inconsistent at best, scoring anywhere from 55 to nine points in games this year.

QB Joe Flacco has begun to assert himself as an upper echelon starter in this league, but is he ready to lead a team to the Super Bowl? Flacco has four games of under 200 yards passing this season and has shown moments of weakness.

The defense, while still solid, is not the juggernaut of season's past. It is nice to hear that according to ESPN.com, Ray Lewis will return this season, but he alone can not fully fix the unit. Baltimore has just 11 interceptions and is allowing more than 370 yards of offense per game.

Everyone assumes that the Ravens have one of the best defenses in football because of the team's history, but the 49ers, Bears, Seahawks and Texans all boast better groups. 

Beyond Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, Baltimore has no players with more than 423 yards receiving or five catches of 20 yards or more. By taking out the Ravens No. 1 and No. 2 receivers teams can almost completely shut down the passing game .

Now, do not take this as a complete bashing of the Ravens. Teams do not get to a 9-2 record based on luck and good fortune. Baltimore has played some great games and exploded on offense occasionally. The problem is that their are major weaknesses on this team that have been exposed.

The Ravens can win the AFC North and possibly a playoff game and other teams may also be overrated, but none come close to Baltimore.