If only the Ravens would have spanked Jacksonville last year like they did the other night. Had we beaten JAX last year, we would have hosted the Patriots here, and I truly believe that we would have beaten the golden girl Brady going away. But that’s neither here nor there. We didn’t, and we let a chance to the super bowl slip through our fingertips. Let’s talk about 2012.
• O Line: Joe Flacco ran for his life last year. We are very lucky he wasn’t injured. He could have sued the offensive life for lack of support. In fact I found the O line; well offensive. Although Ozzie Newsom is a master at his craft and should go back to the Hall of Fame as a GM, he has done nothing to improve the woes at the O.
• Schedule: This year’s schedule has us going up against four division winners, the AFC Champs, the Super Bowl Champs and eight of our games are against teams that qualified for the playoffs.
• Suggs: With Terrell Suggs out until November? we have no real pass rusher. I don’t have stats, but Flacco was sacked far more often than we sacked opposing QB’s. Quite frankly watching all 16 games, I can’t figure out how we won 12 of them.
• Hang Over: After the debacle in New England last year: Lee Evan’s drop, Cundiff miss etc, will the Ravens mentally be prepared to go through this season without looking back?
Our first three games this year have Cincinnati at home, Philly there, and New England here. Two playoff teams from last year, and up and coming Eagles will grace our presence. These three games will define our season. We NEED to come out of these three games at least 2-1. We cannot start at 1-2 or God forbid 0-3; especially with two of the first three games at home.
My prediction for all it’s worth is that although the Ravens should be able to muscle out ten wins, they will not win the division and not have a bye. I think Cincinnati and Houston are the teams to beat in the AFC this year. Both are young and hungry. We’re getting older, the Steeler are getting older, and so are the Patriots.