2013 was a season of ups and downs for the Baltimore Ravens. Coming off their Super Bowl Championship in 2012. and with a completely overhauled roster, expectations were very low for the defending champs. 9 starters from the championship winning team were either starting on different teams or retired from the league. Many of the national media stations were calling for the Ravens to finish as low as 6-10 and 4th in the AFC North. The Ravens have been counted out before, but have responded the way only the Ravens can. Even before 2013 started, the Ravens knew that they would be underdogs.
2013 was the first year that Joe Flacco would be “the man” for the Ravens, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were gone, and so was their leadership on and off the field. Joe Flacco was deemed the new leader of the Ravens and the “General” by Ray Lewis himself. Flacco responded to all of this new found glory by having one of the worst seasons statistically in his career. 19 TD’s and 22 INT’s later, National Media experts and Ravens fans alike were calling for the unseating of Flacco as starting QB. However, much to their dismay, Flacco will be back as the starting QB for the Ravens in 2014, and a huge piece to their possible return to the playoffs.
Another huge reason the Ravens had a disappointing 2013, was that the running game never seemed to click. For years, “Ravens Football” was known as hard-nosed football, running the ball, and defensive football. The running game was almost non-existent last season. Many people could be to blame for this, Jim Caldwell and Juan Castillo and their zone blocking scheme. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce and their inability to take advantage of the rare chances they had, or the entire offensive line, who as a whole just could not open up any holes, and when they did, like stated earlier, the running backs could not take advantage. The Ravens averaged 3.1 yards a carry last season. That number was by far the the worst in the league and a huge contributing factor to the Ravens disappointments.
In 2013, the Ravens were unable to defend their Super Bowl Championship, as they were unable to make the playoffs for the first time in 6 years under John Harbaugh. 2014 gives the Ravens a chance to redeem themselves after a lost season. Only time will tell what becomes of the Ravens in 2014, however, the forecast looks bright.
Besides, I’ve heard from many people that Arizona is a great place to visit in the winter.