Ravens Preparing For Shootouts

May 09, 2012 | Joe Giglio

The age and attrition of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed is no secret. The defections of Jarret Johnson and Cory Redding aren’t franchise changing, but it doesn’t make the Ravens better or deeper. The loss of Pagano — a very solid coordinator during his time here — will be felt. Add to that the long-term loss of Suggs and it’s easy to envision a Ravens defense that gives up many more points than they did in 2011.

That’s why the offense is so important, why Jacoby Jones is really in Baltimore, and how Joe Flacco’s arm suddenly became the most part of this Raven team heading into 2012. It’s going to be hard to change the perception that the Ravens will go as far as their defense takes them, but it’s simply not true right now.

Green Bay and New York have won the past two Super Bowls on the strength of their quarterback and offensive weapons. Yes, their defenses played big in the biggest games, but both sustained major injuries on that side of the ball (GB: Cullen Jenkins; NY: Terrell Thomas, Jonathon Goff) during their respective runs to the Lombardi Trophy. But it was the combination between outstanding quarterback play and weapons on the outside that guided the last two champions. Baltimore now hopes the connection between Flacco and Rice-Boldin-Smith-Pitta-Dickson can do the same.

Suggs is out, Jones is in.

Get ready for 31-28 football this fall.

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