NFL Season Preview: Baltimore Ravens

Joe WillettSenior Writer IJune 19, 2008

I have been watching the NFL Off-season very well, getting very annoyed with my Bears and astounded by some deals—Bernard Berrian's overpricing comes to mind.

I have decided to start giving previews of every NFL team.  Originally, this was going to be in 32 days, but that is a lot of pressure to do a team a day.

The series will probably be finished at some point in time, well before the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 3rd.

For those who want to criticize me for stealing the idea, I don't have access to the NFL Network, which I have seen, in the glimpses that I get of it, is doing 32 Teams in 32 Days.

Now, on to the preview.

Key Addition/Subtraction

Brendon Ayanbadejo: From Chicago

Jonathan Ogden: Retired

Key Games

Sept. 7 vs. Bengals—Opening day at home, an early win could set the season off right against the floundering Bengals.

Sept. 29 at Steelers—They visit division rivals, a win could help establish some strength in their division.

Dec. 20 at Cowboys—The Cowboys are supposed to be one of the top teams in the NFC, taking down an opposite league foe will help if they go deep in the playoffs.


Season Outlook

This is not a team that is likely to make a deep playoff run, a playoff appearance, or be a .500 team.

The loss of Jonathan Ogden is huge because any time you lose a Hall of Fame player you have a big hole, especially when that hole is protecting your less-than-stellar quarterback.

Their defense is good at preventing yards, but they allow too many points, and their offense is less than capable of making up for it.

Despite being sixth in the NFL in yards per game, they were 22nd in points allowed and 24th in points scored, down by an average of just under seven points.

They drafted Joe Flacco way before he was supposed to be drafted, and probably could have stayed content in the second round and still gotten him.

The Ravens are now in a rebuilding stage, which is a shame because their great defense stayed together extremely well and they were only able to pull out one Super Bowl out of it.

They have no quarterback because no matter how good Flacco is, you aren't going to get good production out of a rookie QB. 

Willis McGahee is going to be their best chance for scores and yards, but it's going to be hard to open holes when the defense can stack eight in the box nearly every play, they also don't have a lot behind him if he gets hurt.


Projected Record

This isn't going to be pretty for Baltimore, they lack stability on offense despite another good defense.

They will probably finish somewhere between 4-12 and 6-10.

I'm Joe W.

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