TDT NFL Power Rankings No. 20: Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have missed the playoffs two seasons in a row. Will that change in 2017?
Under head coach John Harbaugh, the Baltimore Ravens have enjoyed a great deal of success, including a Super Bowl victory in 2013. However, they have missed out on the postseason in each of the past two seasons. They boasted a really good defense last year, but the offense wasn’t nearly as good. The Ravens will most likely have more than 10 new starters in the fold, so it’s going to be an uphill climb for them in 2017.
What I Like: The defense looks pretty solid on paper. They lost Timmy Jernigan and Lawrence Guy up front, but they were able to retain big Brandon Williams in the middle. There are also some young and hungry guys ready to step up. There are some questions at linebacker after Pro Bowler Zach Orr shockingly retired, but C.J. Mosley is one of the league’s most talented young backers. The secondary is the best they’ve had in awhile with Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey. Tavon Young has a strong rookie season, but may miss all of 2017 though.
What I Don’t Like: Heading into the season, the Ravens don’t give me much reason to believe in their offense. Joe Flacco is injured right now, which may cause him to miss the start of the season. But, it’s not like he was all that great last year anyway. At his best, Flacco can be a top 10 quarterback, but he has failed to live up to his potential. There is a shortage of weapons as well, with the two biggest being new additions, Jeremy Maclin and Danny Woodhead. Other than that, no player has proven to be a consistent threat in the purple and black.
Offensive MVP: OG Marshal Yanda. You might be surprised to see an offensive lineman get some love, but Yanda deserves every bit of it. It’s not like anybody else on this offense has caused me to second guess myself yet. Yanda has been a staple on the Ravens offensive line for quite some time now. He’s durable, reliable and one of the best in the world at what he does.
Defensive MVP: LB C.J. Mosley. There is plenty of talent on the Ravens defense, but nobody is more important right now that Mosley. The two-time Pro Bowler will be relied on heavily this season, particularly with the retirement of Orr. His athleticism helps him excel in run stopping and pass coverage.
Season Outlook: The Ravens are looking to have a Top 10 defense yet again in 2017. If healthy, they could even creep into the Top 5. However, the questions on the offensive side are holding me back from putting this team any higher than the No. 20 slot. There is opportunity for them to climb a little, but I see the Ravens on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.
9-7, 2nd in AFC North