As the reigning Super Bowl champs, the Baltimore Ravens will have a target on them all season. They’re faced with the same question as all former champions: "can they do it again?"
Reasons They Won’t:
1. Nobody repeats. Okay, a few have. But no team has managed the feat since the Patriots did it in 2003 and 2004. The odds are against them big time!
2. There are simply too many missing pieces. LB Ray Lewis retired, WR Anquan Boldin was traded, and S Ed Reed left as a free agent. The Ravens lost eight key contributors to last year’s team. That’s just too much talent to lose for one team.
3. Ozzie Newsome is the best general manager in the league. He’s too smart to mortgage the future just to stay competitive this year.
Reasons They Might:
1. Unlike the NFC, the AFC is wide open this year. There are a lot of good teams, but no dominant one. The Ravens were only 10-6 last year so there’s no reason they can’t sneak into the Playoffs and get hot at the right time ... again.
2. It’s true that a lot of players are gone from last year’s squad, but have you checked out their replacements? DE Elvis Dumervil is an all-star, rookies S Matt Elam and LB Arthur Brown both look like steals. For a team that was aging rapidly, they might be better this year.
3. Have you forgotten about QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice? The offense will be just fine this year.
Don't miss the Ravens vs. Broncos game this Thursday at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC!