With more experience, added depth, and the continued fine defensive play that is the benchmark of this team, the Baltimore Ravens are poised to win the AFC North this season.
Joe Flacco's continued improvement, along with added weaponry in Anquan Boldin, gives this team the offensive punch it will need to get the job done in 2010.
In Week One the Ravens immediately get a hard game against the Jets on the road. In earlier predictions I have the Jets winning a close game at home, but this is not etched in stone.
The Jets will have to be spot on to win this game. Let's just say for fun the Jets steal this one. 0-1 for the Ravens.
Week Two gets the team over to Cincinnati where this should be a great game. Cincinnati is just as good as last season, perhaps with fewer distractions, but added one with T.O. I guess that will balance out.
The Ravens lose a close one here. But cheer up—the best is yet to come. 0-2 now.
There will be no trouble winning the home opener against the Browns and then it's on to Pittsburgh where there is no Ben Roethlisberger yet. Win, win for the Ravens.
2-2 now as they gleefully play Denver at home and just obliterate them. 3-2.
This next game is tough as it's New England on the road for Baltimore, who would love to steal this one. I believe I have the Ravens will with a small upset to reach 4-2.
Buffalo is next on the hit parade as the defense is stingy in this game, and Flacco is proficient enough on the road to get another one. 5-2 now.
Some rest in the bye week and then on to the Dolphins new look with Brandon Marshall.
This is a home game for Baltimore and no way does a team the Ravens dominate come in Baltimore and win this one. Ravens are 6-2 now folks.
Two games on the road come next and the Ravens will split, losing to Atlanta and beating Carolina. 7-3 and in control of their own destiny for sure.
Next, you can chalk one in here against Tampa Bay, who has no business even being on the field with this team at this point in the season. 8-3 now.
Pittsburgh comes calling now to Baltimore with Big Ben, but it's too late baby, it's too late now, as you really tried to make it. Something went terribly wrong in the wee hours of the club and the Steelers suffer all season long. 9-3.
I hear trade winds blowing, calling Ben, Ben, come play with us, Ben. Roethlisberger would be a perfect Raider.
Houston is another win as it has no answer for the defense. 10-3 now, and now Drew Brees rolls into town and trashes the defense for like 487 yards and five touchdowns. Hey, we were worn down a little from chasing those quick Houston guys.
10-4 now. One more win against Cleveland and if you lose to the Bengals you're 11-5. Beat the Bengals and it's 12-4 and deep into the playoffs you go.
Indianapolis will be waiting for the Ravens as that may very well be the AFC Championship Game.
Good luck to all your teams.
Thomas [NFL Mikee] Moreland