Now before you jump down my throat, I picked the Ravens before the season started to miss the playoffs because of a Super Bowl hangover and their player losses this offseason, but never did I expect that drubbing on Thursday.
Never did I ever think it was possible for the Ravens defense to surrender 49 points to anyone, including the future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. But then I thought about it and realized why not actually?
This offseason the Ravens lost both Ray Lewis, because of retirement, and Ed Reed, who chose to leave and sign with the Houston Texans. They still have Terrell Suggs and they added Elvis Dumervil, but it just won’t be enough in the long run of this year. Not only were Lewis and Reed two of the best players of all time at their respective positions, but both of their leadership abilities will be greatly missed.
Then you look at the Ravens offense with their No. 1 tight end Dennis Pitta out for the entire season due to fracturing and dislocating his hip in the preseason, and one of the most underrated receivers in the league today, Anquan Boldin, was traded to the San Francisco 49ers. Those two reliable receiving weapons alone will effect Raven’s quarterback Joe Flacco this season, as it already has.
While the Ravens still have Ray Rice, who is one of the best running backs in the league, in a quarterback and passing-driven league that the NFL is today, Rice alone will not be enough. Yes, Flacco still has Torrey Smith, but without Boldin, and now Jacoby Jones, who left Thursday’s game with a knee injury and will be out 4-6 weeks with a MCL sprain, Smith will be open a lot less and his receptions will decrease dramatically.
All in all, I know this was only one game, but there were many question marks going in and I think the Ravens performed even worse than what people expected out of them on Thursday. I say expect the Ravens to be around .500 and miss the playoffs this season.