Looking back, I can't believe I wrote this article. That's how off this prediction was.
At the time, though, it made sense. The Ravens returned all four starters from one of 2011's best pass defenses, and Jimmy Smith would only improve over time, or so I thought.
That's not how it worked out. Ed Reed regressed badly this season, Lardarius Webb missed half the season and Jimmy Smith proved to be a complete bust.
Meanwhile, Cary Williams was completely misused at the beginning of the season, playing too far off the ball to respond to quick routes. Jimmy Smith experienced a similar problem.
Webb did play well before his season-ending injury, and Pollard and Williams had their moments. Even Corey Graham was solid as a starter toward the end of the season.
Reed's and Smith's regressions were not something I envisioned. While Reed remains at least average, though, Smith is one of the NFL's worst cornerbacks. He has no clue how to cover an NFL receiver without getting penalized, and that will never change. Smith is a bust.
With Webb returning next year, there is reason for optimism in the Ravens' secondary. This year, though, my worst prediction was that this secondary would be great.