The Baltimore Ravens couldn’t have asked for a better ending to the 2012 NFL season. A Super Bowl championship is quite an honor, especially for a team that many people didn’t believe could get it done.
What will be the tale for the Ravens in the 2013 season? Will they have another ring to add to the collection, or will they will they fall completely apart and have a disastrous season? There is a best and worst-case scenario for the Ravens, and either one could be a possibility for their season.
The best-case scenario for the Ravens would be at least having an appearance in the Super Bowl. After winning a Super Bowl title, only eight teams in the history of the NFL went on to repeat the performance in the next season. The odds are slim for the Ravens, but they have hopes of becoming the ninth team on that list.
A more realistic goal for the Ravens coming into the 2013 season would be to simply win their division and have a spot in the playoffs. They signed quarterback Joe Flacco to a massive contract, but have multiple key losses on the defensive side of the ball. How the roster change will affect the Ravens could prove to be a tough hurdle to get over.
The AFC North division has proven to be challenging division to win as it includes the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. Besides the Browns, the outlook on how the division will shape up is anyone’s guess. Both the Bengals and the Steelers have the talent and coaching ability to shine during the season, with each team rostering some all-star talent.
Any of the three teams could end up taking the division title and each time any of the teams face off, it will have major divisional implications. Every win in the division will be crucial for the Ravens to win the AFC North.
Coaches hope to avoid many things during the season including injuries, losses and a decline in the team’s ability to play together as a whole. Head coach John Harbaugh seems to have done a good job at avoiding anything negative for his team. With new players on the roster and new starters on defense, team bonding is one thing Harbaugh may need to spend a little more time on in the upcoming season.
If your players can’t play well together and communicate on the field, the team could struggle all season long.
The “Super Bowl Curse” is something the Ravens don’t want to get lumped into. Since 1993, few teams have had success with a repeat Super Bowl appearance. After winning the championship, the winning teams’ records in the following year seem to take a massive step down.
Since 1993, eight teams who won the Super Bowl finished the next season under .500. The statistics are not in the Ravens’ favor, but they hope to be one of the few anomalies in the 2013 season.
How the defending champions play throughout the entire season will be highly scrutinized, and every NFL fan will have an eye on the team. If they can get things heading in the right direction at the start of the season, they could be a legitimate threat in the AFC.
Or, they could be just the opposite — a disastrous team that falls to the Super Bowl Curse yet again.