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NFL Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens: 5 Reasons Why They’ll Win AFC North In 2014

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Baltimore Ravens: 5 Reasons Why They'll Win the AFC North in 2014

Dallas Cowboys v Baltimore Ravens
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The Baltimore Ravens followed up their Super Bowl victory in the 2012 season with a disappointing 8-8 campaign, failing to make the playoffs for the first time under John Harbaugh. However, the Ravens have been one of the most dominant teams in recent years, and 2014 should be no different. Here are five reasons why I believe the Ravens will end up winning the AFC North this season.

5. Division Is Up For Grabs

Ravens Steelers
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

5. DIvision Is Up For Grabs

Ravens Steelers
Evan Habeeb- USA TODAY Sports

With the Cincinnati Bengals improving, the Pittsburgh Steelers always being a tough out, and the Cleveland Browns having new life due to their offseason moves, I have reason to believe that the AFC North is fair game to any of the four teams in it. This is one division that normally takes until the last two weeks of the season to decide, and I believe this year will be no different.

4. Strength of Schedule

Joe Flacco Tom Brady
Mitch Stringer- USA TODAY Sports

4. Strength of Schedule

Joe Flacco Tom Brady
Mitch Stringer- USA TODAY Sports

Because the Ravens finished in third place in the division last year, the team does not have a whole lot of difficult games. In fact, the Ravens only play four teams this year who were in the postseason last year. While having an easy schedule might make some question how well they can play against a stronger opponent, it will also be the perfect chance for the Ravens to bounce back.

3. Motivation

Ray Rice
Andrew Weber- USA TODAY Sports

3. Motivation

Ray Rice
Andrew Weber- USA TODAY Sports

Having won the Super Bowl and then not even qualify for playoffs the following year has to hurt for a team. I believe that the Ravens will use that as motivation and show the world that the 2013 season was just a fluke, and that they are ready to rebound and come out even stronger this year.

2. Defense

Terrell Suggs
Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports

2. Defense

Terrell Suggs
Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens have been known for their defense, and I believe that unit will return to dominance, which will help them win a few games. With Terrell Suggs leading an improved defense, there is no reason why this defensive unit should not become a force in 2014.

1. John Harbaugh

John Harbaugh
Kirby Lee- USA TODAY Sports

1. John Harbaugh

John Harbaugh
Kirby Lee- USA TODAY Sports

Having a coach that has led the team to five straight playoff berths and a Super Bowl title can play a big part in the season. John Harbaugh has become one of the most successful coaches in the past few years, as his .653 win percentage in the regular season shows he has what it takes to lead this talented team to a division title. Last year was a learning lesson for Harbaugh, but he'll use it to improve the team.