What to expect from the defending Super Bowl Champions?
Normally this would be a ridiculous question to ask about a team who just won the championship, but there was nothing normal about the Baltimore Ravens’ off season following their historic playoff run. They lost a future Hall of Famer in Ray Lewis to retirement, and also chose to let go of Ed Reed, meaning the leaders of not only the defense but the entire team are now absent. The Ravens also couldn’t resign Cary Williams, Bernard Pollard, or Dannel Ellerbe, and chose to trade Anquan Boldin. Add to that the retirement Matt Birk and it totals seven key players won’t be returning to the team this season. With losing such talent what should the expectations be for the team heading into the season?
Well to start, Joe Flaco must live up to his historic contract he signed, and he needs to replace the leadership lost this off season. It is his time to turn this into his team. That means his performance in the post season must be replicated during the regular season. If Flaco is consistent at a high level of play, and turn into one of the elite quarterbacks in the league, and their young defense, with the additions of Elvis Dumervil, Michael Huff, and others, is able to replicate some of their historic success, then the Ravens could still contend for a division title or at least a wild card spot. But don’t expect them to repeat this year. They are still a few years from becoming a top contender.