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The Ravens are on top of the world. The team of destiny just rampaged through the playoffs against all the odds and sent Ray Lewis into retirement a champion.
When the glamor of the title starts to wear off and reality sets in, they will realize just how important that title was, as the upcoming seasons will be immensely more difficult.
Ray Lewis is not a player that can be replaced immediately. No one on this roster, and no one in free agency or the draft, can step in and replicate what he did and the impact he had. Ed Reed is also a constant threat to retire, discussing it on numerous occasions. There is no guarantee he will be playing next year, either.
On top of the two faces of the franchise in limbo, recently crowned Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco is in line for a new contract, and is said to be looking for $20 million annually. Committing that kind of money to him could limit them financially in the future.
Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and possibly Reed can still keep this defense powerful for the coming years, but how long that group has left together will become an issue. Much more responsibility will be bestowed upon Flacco's shoulders, and he better be ready for it. Otherwise, this team could fall flat on its face.
Consider their window tentatively wide open, with "tentatively" being the operative word after the subtraction of Ray Lewis. It could remain that way, or all go up in flames sooner than they'd like.