#32for32: Baltimore Ravens


 

#4

2011 Record: 12-4 (1st AFC North, L AFC Championship)

Projected 2012 Record: 12-4 (1st AFC North)

Key Arrivals: LB Darryl Blackstock, OG Bobbie Williams, WR/RM Jacoby Jones, NT Ma’ake Kemoeatu, QB Curtis Painter, CB Corey Graham, S Sean Considine

Key Departures: PK Shayne Graham, DT Bryan McKinney, S Tom Zbikowski, OG Ben Grubbs, OLB Jarrett Johnson, CB Dominique Foxworth, RB Ricky Williams (Retired)

Last season the Ravens finally gained the deep threat passing game that they never had throughout the (brief) history of the franchise.  Torrey Smith emerged as the legit #2 option for Joe Flacco, providing speed mismatches compared to Boldin’s possession game and size.  All 7 of his touchdowns came from passes that were beyond 11 yards, he also tore up the right sideline (24 rec, 387 yards, 3 TD), their #3 WR is now Jacoby Jones, who had his share of drops with the Texans, will also serve as the return man.  On defense, the Ravens drafted Courtney Upshaw from Alabama, who was one of the most dominant forces in college football during his tenure.  The defense may be getting a little older, but not old enough to be significantly slowed down.  They held opposing offenses to just 196.3 passing yards per game (4th) and 92.6 rushing yards per game (2nd), and were 17th in interceptions (15).

On offense: 10th in rushing, 124.8 yards per game, which goes a long way with Ray Rice returning, he’ll have Anthony Allen and rookie Bernard Pierce (Temple) as compliments, but expect Rice to carry a majority of the load as usual.

Joe Flacco took huge steps last season, he went drive for drive with Tom Brady and even had the Ravens set up to win and head to the Super Bowl until Billy Cundiff missed the field goal.  He threw for 3610 yards, 20 TDs and 12 INTs, however, his completion percentage was relatively low (57%) for a guy who is supposed to be a top-tier QB.

The Ravens haven’t changed much, they haven’t lost anything too major, and they added a few minor pieces through the draft.  The only major question is how big of an effect will Terrell Suggs’ injury have on this defense?

 

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