Have the Ravens Given Joe Flacco Enough Weapons to Defend Their Title?

Mike FastContributor IMay 20, 2013

Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) runs from San Francisco 49ers linebackers NaVorro Bowman (53) and Ahmad Brooks (55) during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens drafted one wide receiver (Aaron Mellette) and retained their top tight end (Dennis Pitta) while their other key tight end (Ed Dickson) is likely to sign his restricted free-agent tender soon. Other than that, their offseason acquisitions have been mostly defensive players.

Does that mean Baltimore doesn't have enough offensive talent to compete for the Super Bowl XLVIII title? No. It means the Ravens trust the skill position players they currently have on their roster.

Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Bernard Pierce and Jacoby Jones are all dynamic playmakers. They possess unique skills that enable them to beat defenses in different ways. They're also able to be the focal point of an offensive game plan if the coaching staff so chooses.

Last year Baltimore set a team record for points scored in a single season (398). That mark was also good for 10th in the NFL.

The Ravens attempted 560 passes and rushed 444 times in 2012. In other words their pass-to-run ratio was 55.8 percent to 44.2 percent.

In terms of league-wide trends, the median amount of pass attempts per team last season was 559. The median amount of rush attempts per team last season was 437. Or, on average, NFL teams passed 56.1 percent of the time and ran 43.9 percent of the time.

As you can see, the Ravens scored a lot of points and withstood a change of offensive coordinators while maintaining balanced play calling.

But as we all know, no team is the same each year. How did the Ravens change on offense from 2012 to 2013? Matt Birk retired and Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers.

While Birk was valuable, he didn't have the impact Boldin did in last year's playoffs.

So the question becomes: Will the Ravens be able to withstand the loss of Boldin?

Most likely.

After gaining over 1,000 receiving yards in three of his first four seasons, Boldin has gained over 1,000 receiving yards in just two of his last six seasons.

In 2012, Boldin caught four touchdowns in the regular season while averaging 58 receiving yards per game. In the playoffs, Boldin caught four touchdowns and averaged 95 yards receiving per game.

Basically Baltimore had to decide if they wanted to pay Boldin $6 million in base salary in 2013. Sure he had an outstanding postseason, but his regular season was rather average.

As long as Flacco has Rice (26), Smith (24), Pitta (27) and a good offensive line, he and the Ravens offense should be just fine.

Baltimore could very well have enough offensive talent and not compete for a Super Bowl. Offense is only one third of a team's makeup.

But if offensive talent was the sole indication of a team's playoff chances, the Ravens are currently in a very good position.