When we cobbled together the PFT Season Preview magazine back in May, each of the four main PFT writers made playoff and Super Bowl predictions. It seemed like a good idea, in large part because it helped us fill up two more pages at a time when we were running low on ideas.
And since I’ve pointed out inconsistencies in the past when experts try to slip inconsistent picks through our collective five hole, we’re sticking with our picks from the PFT Season Preview magazine. Each projection will appear from the four writers — Rosenthal, MDS, Silva, and yours truly — throughout the rest of the evening.
After years of trying unsuccessfully to supercharge their offense, the Baltimore Ravens finally have achieved their goal. With a third-year quarterback who already has generated a 3-2 record in five road postseason games and a small army of high-end possession receivers and one of the best young tailbacks in the game, the Ravens could score far more points per week than any Ravens defense ever should need.
Things looked dicey during training camp, with cornerback Dominique Foxworth tearing an ACL and safety Ed Reed battling with a bum hip and Jared Gaither looking less like a right tackle and more like a tight end and receiver Donte’ Stallworth busting a foot. But a strong showing in the preseason and a sense that the front seven on defense still has the punch to make up for a substandard secondary means that the two sides of the ball should come together to do great things.
In 2008 and 2009, the Ravens were swept by the eventual champions of the AFC North. This year, if the Ravens can take care of business in their own backyard, the Ravens could end up earning a bye and forcing other playoff teams to come to Baltimore in January. And that could result in a trip to Texas.
Why not square off once again against the Cowboys? Two years ago, the Ravens were the hand-picked patsies to close out Texas Stadium, and the Ravens instead played the role of rude house guests. The perfect bookend would come from a return to Dallas and a victory over the Cowboys in the first Super Bowl played in their new venue.
As the season approaches, I’m feeling less confident about the Cowboys making it to the Super Bowl and more inclined to tab the grossly overlooked defending Super Bowl champions from New Orleans. But I picked the Cowboys in June, and I’m sticking with it.
After all, it can’t turn out any worse than picking the Redskins to advance to the Super Bowl, like some idiot who shall remain nameless did last year at this time.