Without Suggs, challenging road to Super Bowl becomes longer for Ravens

May 03, 2012 | Luke Jones

As somber as Thursday’s news was to the Ravens and their fans, there are still the makings of a very good defense without Suggs. Even if both stand in the final act of their respective careers, the cerebral presence alone of Lewis and Reed maximizes the potential of any defensive teammates willing to listen and put in the work.

Younger players like Kruger, Upshaw, and McPhee were drafted by Newsome with the vision of those individuals eventually becoming bigger forces within the defense. The Ravens just hoped it wouldn’t have to be this soon and under these circumstances.

All is not lost despite the “woe is me” attitude pervading the fan base following the loss of Suggs.

But there’s no sugarcoating how challenging it will be to replace the game-changing plays the All-Pro linebacker has consistently provided for the defense over the years. And as much progress as the offense has made over the last four years under quarterback Joe Flacco and Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, it’s still not a unit you can consistently expect to beat quality opponents without the support of an elite defense.

With nearly three months remaining until the start of training camp, John Harbaugh and his coaching staff have ample time to search for solutions, but those answers will have to come from within the current locker room.

The always-difficult path to the Super Bowl looks that much longer now, making last season’s heartbreaking defeat in the AFC Championship sting all over again after the pain had subsided a bit over the last three months.

Even with all their key pieces in place, the Ravens fell excruciatingly short in Foxborough.

And that’s what makes Thursday’s news even more difficult to swallow.

4 Comments For This Post

  1. Eddie Says:

    Stop worrying about a Super Bowl . . There will be no Super Bowl for The Ravens until there is a Trent Dilfer apreciation day at a home game and they retire number 8 . You can count on it.
    The Football Gods are angry at Baltimore .

  2. Vince Fiduccia Says:

    I get the feeling that McAdoo will be a real sleeper. They would not of kept him around last year, if they didn’t see something. Next Man Up!

    (L.J. – He is definitely worth keeping a close eye on during the preseason.)

  3. Rob Says:

    The Ravens have had great teams but only won the SB once. Many teams have won the SB with lesser caliber players then the all pros we keep saying we need. Remember a 9-7 team won the whole thing last year? We keep telling ourselves that we can’t win without them already thinking in the wrong mindset.

    (L.J. – Thanks for commenting. They are certainly still capable of doing it, but it becomes more difficult without their best defensive player for obvious reasons.)

  4. tsnamm Says:

    Being able to get a consistent, strong pass rush is an essential element in today’s NFL.A lot of the responsibility will fall on the DL to get pressure on the QB.Ray and Ed are in the twilight’s of their careers, and I don’t know how much mentoring experience will make up for lack of talent. While there will be some name brands on the free agent market next year,(Freeney & Osi for instance), its not any help to us this year, and it also depends on the Ravens salary cap status next year, if we are even able to get involved. Losing Suggs creates a big hole to fill…hopefully the others will see this as an opportunity for themselves to shine. I’m not so sure they will be able to do so though.

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