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04 Feb 2013
They aren't as old as you think they are.
Posted by: Danny Tuccitto on 04 Feb 2013
19 comments, Last at
06 Feb 2013, 12:24pm by
We see this article every season, don't we?
Why (Team X) can repeat.
Sure, they can repeat. But should they be favored to do so? I would like the 49ers in a rematch.
Agreed. Even if the rematch was tomorrow, I would take a 49 team with just a tad bit of experience -- they were so shaky early. Once settled, they looked pretty darn good. And if you rematch next year, the Ravens D loses some experience (even if they are old) in Lewis and Reed.
Next year's Ravens might be able to beat next year's 49ers, but they are going to have a world of problems with next year's Patriots.
The Ravens were immune to the Patriots' hurry-up because Reed and Lewis were like having two DCs on the field.
Can't expect much from next year's Ravens team. If they pay Flacco, then they'll probably have to cut Bolden, Jacoby Jones, and Leach, and also let Reed, Ellerbe, Kruger, and Cary Williams walk as FA's.
You're allowed to enjoy this for a couple days before you start to worry about next year. (Congratulations.)
Considering how improbable their Super Bowl run was this year (8th DVOA rated team beating the 2nd and 3rd rated teams on the road and then the 4th rated on a neutral site), I'll be surprised if they even make the playoffs next year.
The AFC seems to be sufficiently weak that its hard to come up with enough teams to push them out of the playoffs. New England, Houston, and Denver seem locks for the playoff barring significant injuries. But given the Baltimore versus the remaining 12 teams to make the playoffs, I'd take Baltimore as the least flawed of the remaining AFC teams.
Considering that the Bengals finished with the same regular season record as the Ravens, don't have to pay their quarterback 20 million a year now, and have something like 50 million in cap space, I would not assume Baltimore even wins their division. Then, they're competing with the rest of the AFC for wild card spots. I would hope Baltimore looks like the least flawed of the rest of the AFC; they just won the Super Bowl. But things can change a lot in one season; Last year's champion didn't make the playoffs.
One problem with that. They're still the Bengals.
Right, if there is one thing we know, its that Mike Brown is going to do everything in his power to ensure that the Bengals remain a highly competitive franchise.
They've made the playoffs 3 out of the last 4 years. They are even drafting people this site would recommend. I understand the hesitation to crown their ass, due to their owner's ways, but they have the highest amount of cap room in the league, few free agents, and a league rule forcing them to spend money. They also kept their entire coaching staff. I hope I'm not jinxing them as a Jets fan.
Pittsburgh is in worse shape than they've been in years. Are the Bengals going to break through to control the division?
I think the Ravens win the AFC North next year. The defense may have issues, but the offense is going to get better. In other words, they're going down the path laid out clearly by the Colts, Pats, Packers, and Saints.
Why is the offense going to get better?
Third year's a breakout year for a lot of WRs--Smith and Doss. Offensive line in its current incarnation, for a whole season, will improve Flacco's play.
Also, on defense, they'll get Webb and Smith for a full season now, and Cary Williams really, really isn't a loss. I wonder if I was the only Ravens fan that was irked that he wasn't ejected. :P
FWIW, the ravens are 14-1 for next year, which I suspect is the longest odds for defending SB champions in recent memory. By comparison, NE is 7-1.
What people seem to forget is injuries. Most of the time, the team that wins the SB had good injury luck. Halfway through the season, PIT looked a lot better than BAL. But BAL got people back from injuries, while PIT collapsed with injuries to the OL and DB (on top of Roethlisberger).
Denver and SF are 5-1... Seattle is 10-1, and I'm surprised they are not rated better.
Baltimore enjoyed a perfect storm this post season where they had Great QB play (Flacco), got some luck (Rahim Moore) and they were on the better end on most of the close calls. This feels like a one year wonder
I'm not onboard with the Ravens repeating, but I'd say five straight playoff years sure as heck shouldn't be categorized as a "one year wonder."
One year wonder in terms of SB.
As for playoffs, the AFC seems like most of it is set due to the huge discrepancy in QB play throughout. The AFC final four has been the same two years in a row and it would not be surprising if it were the same 4 next year.
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The Ravens quarterback will need to greatly improve his performance from last year if he's going to live up his huge new contract.
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