There have been varying opinions about how the Baltimore Ravens will perform this season. Some say this team is terrible, some say it’s a contender. Many believe this defense has the potential to be one of the NFL’s best. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinions. However, as someone who doesn’t like or dislike the Ravens, I’m here to give you my unbiased analysis.
The Baltimore Ravens have always been (or tried to be) a defensive-minded team. Some years, such as 2000 or 2001, this strategy is successful. The 2001 Baltimore Ravens boasted the league’s best defense and a mediocre offense, which led them to winning the Lombardi trophy. Some years they are plagued by injury and no longer as successful, such as the 2015 season. While we still have 15 games to play, the Baltimore defense looks like Ravens defenses of old. The Ravens picked off Bengals QB Andy Dalton 4 times and sacked him 5 times en route to a 20-0 shutout victory. The additions of Brandon Carr, Tony Jefferson and the excellent play of returning player CJ Mosley propelled the Ravens defense to a lockdown win. Again, we’re only one week in, but these Ravens show real promise to boast a great defense once again.
And now, I suppose I have to talk about the offense. Historically, the offensive unit for the Ravens has never been excellent. This year, it looks to be more of the same. Danny Woodhead started the game with three quick catches and looked to be the Ravens’ third-down specialist. However, the third catch led to Woodhead re-aggravating a previous hamstring injury and further weakened the offense. Jeremy Maclin was a bright spot in a dismal wide receiver corps, as Perriman and Wallace recorded a combined two receptions for just 13 yards. While Flacco looking like a man recovering from a back injury, he got the job done. My concern with this dink-and-dunk offense remains as it does every year. I don’t believe this Baltimore offense has what it takes to produce against upper-level defenses, and the last thing they want is to keep that above-average defense on the field long enough to become less effective.
Overall, I believe that the 2017 Baltimore Ravens field a better team than they have in several years. The defense will have to carry this team, and the offense is mostly just along for the ride. Realistically, all that Joe Flacco and this offensive unit have to do is manage the clock and score with some sort of consistency and the defense can do the rest. But again, we have the rest of the regular season ahead of us. The NFL is a strange place.