2015 Baltimore Ravens Season Preview
One of the biggest surprises of the 2014 season was the breakout year from Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett. After years as a backup, Forsett stormed into the starting role in 2014, rushing for more than 5 yards per carry and over 1,200 yards overall. The Baltimore Ravens fell just short of defeating the Super Bowl Champion Patriots in the playoffs, and will look to take the final step towards another Super Bowl title in 2015. To help them get there, the Ravens drafted talented wide receiver Breshard Perriman to play opposite of Steve Smith. The 2015 Baltimore Ravens defense will also receive plenty of new talent with the addition of Kyle Arrington, Carl Davis, and Za’Darius Smith. The AFC North will likely be one of the best divisions in the NFL again in 2015, and the Ravens will be right in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt once again.
2014 Baltimore Ravens Season Preview
The Ravens couldn’t find an offensive identity last season, and it contributed to going 8-8 and missing the playoffs a year after winning the Super Bowl. Ray Rice couldn’t find a hole to run through and will start the 2014 season suspended from playing. The Ravens have brought in Justin Forsett, Steve Smith and Owen Daniels to help on offense, and early draft picks C.J. Mosely and Timmy Jernigan to help on the defensive side of the ball. Baltimore has brought in Gary Kubiak to take over the offense, who saw success in Houston before a disastrous performance last season. The Ravens will begin the season at home against the Bengals and Steelers, before their first road game in Cleveland. Baltimore will travel to New Orleans for the first time since winning the Super Bowl to take on the Saints, and will end the season at home against the Browns. The Ravens are in what many see as a wide open division, so the possibility is definitely there for another trip to the postseason in 2014.
2013 Baltimore Ravens Season Preview
The Ravens will look almost completely different in 2013, but should still be one of the better teams in the NFL. Gone are Ravens stars Ray Lewis, Anquan Boldin and Ed Reed, as well as key defensive role players Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger. However, Baltimore still possesses the talent necessary to return to the playoffs. Joe Flacco is returning under center and should continue to produce at a high level. Ray Rice and Torrey Smith remain two of the best playmakers in the NFL at running back and wide receiver respectively. Linebacker Terrell Suggs is still in the fold to captain the defense, and will be aided by veterans Haloti Ngata and Ladarius Webb. To aid a defense that lost many components, the Ravens signed former Denver Bronco pass rusher Elvis Dumervil and selected Florida safety Matt Elam in the first round of the NFL Draft. Though different from the Super Bowl team assembled a year ago, Baltimore is still a force to be reckoned with this season.
2011 Baltimore Ravens Season Preview
The Baltimore Ravens have been to the playoffs for three consecutive years, and have seemingly been on the cusp of taking that next step and getting to the Super Bowl. This season may be the year, however, as quarterback Joe Flacco has one more year experience under his belt, and the Ravens typically tenacious defense will be back in full force. The Ravens will have plenty of talent on offense to surround Flacco. Though criticized for not having a killer instinct, Flacco has one of the strongest arms in the league and is flanked by Anquan Boldin, who is certainly a reliable target, and the newly acquired Lee Evans. Running back Ray Rice emerged as a go-to player last season, and will be solid with Ricky Williams now giving him breathers. Although the Ravens defense is very reliable, it will be their defense that gets them to the next level. Up front, Baltimore is led by linemen Terrence Cody and Haloti Ngata, both of whom strike fear into the heart of opposing quarterbacks. Ray Lewis still patrols the middle of the field and remains a force, as does safety Ed Reed–who is perhaps the best defensive back in the NFL when he is healthy.
2010 Baltimore Ravens Season Preview
Although Flacco has not put up spectacular numbers since he entered the league, he has been a terrific game manager. He has a number of talented players joining him on offense, including running back Ray Rice, who had a break out season last year in running for over 1,300 yards. Veteran running back Willis McGahee will also be an important part of the offense, and the Ravens have added receiver Anquan Boldin, who will provide Flacco with a reliable target that he has been lacking his first couple seasons. As has been the case the last decade, the focus of the Baltimore game plan will be on defense. Although the group will certainly be solid, there are more questions than in years past. Ray Lewis, who has been the team's leader, is beginning to age, and the health of pro-bowl safety Ed Reed is up in the air following offseason surgery. The AFC North will be one of the most difficult divisions in the league this year, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals looking strong heading into training camp. If the Ravens can make it through a tough schedule, they can get pretty far.
2009 Baltimore Ravens Season Preview
The Baltimore Ravens found their quarterback of the future in former Delaware star Joe Flacco, and he rewarded the team's faith in him by leading them to the AFC Championship Game. So the Ravens enter 2009 with an answer at QB and on defense since they re-signed defensive leader Ray Lewis. The defense should be the strength of the team again in '09 with Lewis, Ed Reed and a handful of other Pro Bowl candidates. If Baltimore can keep their offense humming, then the 2009 season might not end like 2008 did - one game shy of the Super Bowl.
2008 Baltimore Ravens Season Preview
The Baltimore Ravens are set to be one of the mot unpredictable teams in the NFL this season. It will be fascinating to see what off-season moves the franchise goes with, whether they put their confidence behind Heisman winning Ohio State quarterback troy Smith, whether they look for a new QB in the draft or in free agency, or whether they continue their game plan of playing Kyle Boller and injured Steve McNair next season. The team has been a perennial defensive powerhouse led by Ray Lewis and company, but have yet to find any sort of groove on offense. This next season will be a turning point for the franchise and fans at M&T Band Stadium are going to be ready for the team to put it all on the line.