Saturday, August 18, 2012
FRSDailyJournal: Baltimore Ravens 2012 Preview: Ray Lewis and Ravens Face Tough Road Test: Time for The Ravens to Take The Next Step
If I'm John Harbaugh the Head Coach of the Ravens, I'm reminding my players every single chance he gets in 2012. To remind them of what happened at the end of the 2011 season, when they lost the AFC Championship to the Patriots at New England on a missed Field Goal attempt. After deciding not to go for it on fourth in one and missed a fairly short Field Goal attempt instead. Because the Ravens had the best team at least in the AFC in 2011, I'm not saying they would've beaten the New York Giants in that Super Bowl. But I believed they would've been favored. They were a much better team defensively then the Patriots in 2011 and in that game and their offense put them in position to win that game. The Kicker missed what would've been a clutch kick, you could put the blame on him or Coach Harbaugh for being too Conservative. I saw that game at my friends apartment and I put the blame on Coach Harbaugh for being too Conservative. Because the way the Ravens were moving the ball on that drive and in that game, they probably score a touchdown and win that game. The Patriots Defense was not going to stop them but that was last year, Coach Harbaugh is still one of the top. 3-5 Head Coaches in the NFL right now.
But as far a 2012 goes, the Ravens will do as well as their offense plays and Quarterback Joe Flacco can take them. Their defense will still be good if not one of the best in the NFL but they are getting up in age with MLB Ray Lewis entering his 17th season and even if Safety Ed Reed makes it back. The question will be at what level, how much will he be able to give the Ravens and with Rush End Terrell Suggs coming off of a foot injury, when will he be ready to play. And how much will he bale able to give the Ravens but now is the time for Joe Flacco to step up and take this team to the next level and get back to the Super Bowl. Thats the one thing he hasn't accomplished yet, I believe the 2012 Ravens will go as far as Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice and WR Anquan Bolden will take them. And if the Flacco emerges as the Pro Bowl QB that he has the ability to be and the defense comes around and is close to what we've seen from them in the past. Expect the Ravens to be Super Bowl contenders and again win the AFC North.
Even with the questions that I've laid out for the Ravens, I still expect them to win at least 10-11 games and win the AFC North. The question is whether they win 12-13 and are a serious Super Bowl contender, instead of getting eliminated in the Divisional Round. And that will be determined by Joe Flacco and this young Ravens Offense and how close the Ravens Defense is to where they've been in the past.