By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on June 11, 2014
The Baltimore Ravens will enter 2014 aiming at a return to the postseason and a resurrection as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. It won't be easy in such a competitive division like the AFC North, but the Ravens possess a talented enough roster to fulfill both ambitions. Here are five early predictions for the franchise's season.
It's hard not to marvel at the work GM Ozzie Newsome put in during May's draft, especially with the Ravens' first three picks. C.J. Mosley, Timmy Jernigan and Terrence Brooks could all start as rookies and could all help equip Baltimore with an elite defense again. Rookie classes around the league will pale in comparison to the Ravens'.
The Ravens nabbed one of the biggest potential steals of the draft's first round when they selected Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley. Close to a complete player, Mosley has all the tools to step in as a starter and instantly have a game-changing impact as a rookie. No rookie defender will be as productive.
A looming suspension has put Ray Rice's availability for the beginning of the regular season in doubt. But it's his decline on the field, as evidenced by a measly 3.1 yards-per-carry average last year, that will have him supplanted in the starting lineup by season's end. Whether it's Bernard Pierce or rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro who steal his job, Rice won't be receiving the bulk of Baltimore's carries.
Quietly, Elvis Dumervil was one of the NFL's most efficient pass rushers in 2013. His 9.5 sack total, however solid, didn't do his productivity justice. He'll turn more near sacks into actual sacks in 2014. His counterpart, Terrell Suggs, typically hovers around a double-digit sack total. The two will combine for a whopping 25 sacks in 2014.
I'm not willing to predict that the Ravens will surpass the Bengals, one of the NFL's most complete teams, in the AFC North, but even if they don't, a Wild Card spot will be a welcomed consolation. Baltimore is seemingly too talented to win less than nine or 10 games.
November 29, 2015 by Jason Fletcher
These 15 NFL players should've stayed in school another year instead of declaring for the draft as an underclassman. Read More
November 29, 2015 by Jacob Camenker
After a terrific performance against Notre Dame, Stanford senior Kevin Hogan improved his draft stock. Now he will definitely be on many teams' radars, including the Arizona Cardinals. Read More
November 28, 2015 by RantSports Staff
Can you predict the final score of the Browns' and Ravens' Week 12 matchup to win a $100 gift card? Read More
Can you predict the final score of the Seahawks' and Steelers' Week 12 matchup to win a $100 gift card? Read More
November 28, 2015 by Kelly Anderson
There are plenty of people responsible for Tony Romo's latest shoulder injury, but sadly none of them were on the field this Thanksgiving. Read More
November 28, 2015 by Tire Rack
These 10 NFL players have set themselves apart from the rest, and undoubtedly have the best chance to win the league's coveted MVP award. Read More
November 28, 2015 by Jacob Camenker
The New England Patriots are going to be thin at receiver for their game this Sunday against the Denver Broncos, so they're going to have to rely on their tight ends to beat the elite defense. Read More
November 28, 2015 by Kyle Nishida
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts face off in Lucas Oil Stadium. This is a crucial game as both teams are still holding onto playoff aspirations. Read More