NFL Preview: Baltimore Ravens

Head Coach: John Harbaugh
Offensive Coordinator: Cam Cameron
Defensive Coordinator: Greg Mattison
Special Teams Coordinator: Jerry Rosburg
Owner: Stephen J. Bisciotti

Offensive Starters (Projected)
QB: Joe Flacco
HB: Ray Rice
FB: Le’Ron McClain
WR: Derrick Mason
WR: Anquan Boldin
LT: Michael Oher
LG: Ben Grubbs
C: Matt Birk
RG: Marhsal Yanda
RT: Jared Gaither
TE: Todd Heap

Defensive Starters (Projected)
DE: Haloti Ngata
DE: Chris Redding
DT: Kevin Gregg
LB: Terrell Suggs
LB: Jameel McClain
LB: Ray Lewis
LB: Jarret Johnson
CB: Chris Carr
CB: Fabian Washington
FS: Tom Zbikowski
SS: Dewan Landry

Special Teams
K: Billy Cundiff
P: Sam Koch

Schedule:
@ New York Jets
@ Cincinnati
Cleveland
@ Pittsburgh
Denver
@ New England
Buffalo
Bye
Miami
@ Atlanta
@ Carolina
Tampa Bay
Pittsburgh
@ Houston
New Orleans
@ Cleveland
Cincinnati

Season Expectations:
The Ravens are going to have to rely on the offense this year if they want to make a deep run into the playoffs. The defense is suffering from a bunch of injuries. Ed Reed will start the year on the Physically Unable to Perform list and will miss the first 6 weeks. Sergio Kindle was the team’s first round draft pick and will likely not play at all this season after falling down some stairs back near Austin. Domonique Foxworth was expected to be a starting CB, but he’s out for the year with a knee injury. Marcus Paschal was someone the Ravens were looking at to fill in for Foxworth but he’s out for season as well. So the backside of this defense has some big holes, especially for the first 6 weeks until Reed comes back. Now go back and look at the first 6 games of their schedule. There is a possibility the Ravens will be far enough behind the 8 ball after the first six that they won’t be able to catch up.

For as many holes as the defense has, the offense has incredible depth. Joe Flacco is a big time QB with a very good arm and he’s got more weapons to play with this season. Anquan Boldin is out from under the shadow of Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona and should be the focus of the passing game this season. Derrick Mason is a fluid route runner and a good number 2 WR. The team just signed TJ Houshmandzadeh to give the Ravens 3 very reliable WRs and once Donte Stallworth comes back from his injury they’ll have 4 solid WRs. Ray Rice is one of the better running backs in the league and Le’Ron McClain is a good fullback and a capable fill in should Ray Rice need a break. The offensive line has depth and talent and should be able to protect Flacco to give him plenty of time to find all those receivers and open up plenty of holes for Ray Rice.

Expect a slow start and furious ending to try and make the playoffs.

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