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Ravens start their title defense from the third spot

Flacco AP

They won the Super Bowl, but many think they’re destined to fall apart.

Not us.

The Ravens remain one of the best teams in the NFL.  Sure, they lost plenty of key players.  But they now have other guys who’ll become key players as they try to run a streak of consecutive seasons with playoff wins to six.

They start the year in the PFT preseason power rankings at No. 3.

It’ll be very hard to repeat, but when the dust settles the Ravens will be far closer to the top of the league than the bottom.

Again.

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25 Responses to “Ravens start their title defense from the third spot”
  1. geemoney713 says: Jul 23, 2013 3:03 PM

    They’re just like the old Redskins or the Eagles of recent. Free agent signings don’t make a great team. Losing key players hurts.

  2. bucrightoff says: Jul 23, 2013 3:04 PM

    7-9 here we come. The hangover is going to hurt.

  3. spitsfire says: Jul 23, 2013 3:07 PM

    Agreed.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 23, 2013 3:13 PM

    Well I’m definitely rooting for the Bengals to win the division. They are a good and respectable team, that’s a powerful combination in my mind and heart. Plus they do a great job of drafting players that I like. And they agreed to go on Hard Knocks twice now before most teams have done it once. I love the Bengals. Definitely my favorite team after my hometown Lions.

  5. captainwisdom8888 says: Jul 23, 2013 3:18 PM

    I don’t think the Ravens are going to crash and burn, they’re still a very good team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if its the wild card spot they have going into the playoffs next season. Baltimore is going to be a very different team this season, especially on defense, and if the Ravens find themselves playing from behind more often this season, than a heavier workload will be put on Joe Flacco to throw the ball more often. I don’t expect Baltimore to dominate on both sides of the ball quite like they have in years past, and I don’t see them surpassing 10 wins this season.

  6. nattypoes says: Jul 23, 2013 3:22 PM

    People outside of Baltimore think the Ravens are going to fall on their face, but they just don’t know… I can make a very good argument that the Ravens are actually a better all around team than last season… No more Cam Cameron to hold back Flacco, Ray and Ed had become wink links, McKinnie starting, Bernard Pierce to have a bigger role, they could likely have the best pass rush in the league with Ngata, Dummerville, and Suggs, etc… The only real loss that will be felt is Anquan’s departure. It’s a legitimate loss, but one that they are equipped to overcome.

  7. citizenstrange says: Jul 23, 2013 3:24 PM

    The Ravens deserve their high ranking. With all the new rules the past few seasons it is definitely a quarterback/offense driven league.

    Last season in points scored
    the Ravens ranked 10th
    Bengals 12th
    Steelers 22nd
    Browns 24th

    It will probably be roughly the same again this year. Ravens and Bengals in the playoffs and the Steelers and Browns sitting on the couch watching.

    It is a real shame to just flat out waste having the number one defense in the entire NFL.

  8. ravensrooster94 says: Jul 23, 2013 3:28 PM

    Ravens fan that I am, I still cannot see them returning to the Big Show. Nobody has done it in nearly a decade and we have too many too replacement parts. We have to see how they shake out. Besides, every team on the schedule will be gunning for the Super Bowl champs.. It happens every year.

    That said, I agree with Florio’s last statement: At the end of the day (or year) the Ravens will be closer to the top of the league than the bottom.

    Prediction: Make the playoffs. After that all bets are off.

  9. jtchernak says: Jul 23, 2013 3:30 PM

    Them at 3 is a joke

  10. kane337 says: Jul 23, 2013 3:32 PM

    Way way too high. They will be lucky to even make the playoffs.

  11. daveo34 says: Jul 23, 2013 3:45 PM

    People forget that the Raven’s defense from last year really wasn’t that good – some of the players that left, while Hall of Famers, had slowed down significantly.

    We will see how the transition goes, but I like this team on paper…

  12. gpatrick15 says: Jul 23, 2013 4:07 PM

    What 2 teams are left? San Fran and Denver?

  13. scoobies05 says: Jul 23, 2013 4:16 PM

    for all the critics who doubt they ravens, there have been several good point brought up in their favor. they replaced some aging parts on a defense that hasnt finished that low in the rankings in years. it will take some time for those parts to gel, but always better to finish strong. webb will be back, along with suggs ngata jimmy smith and graham among others. on offensive, the whole line is back except for a smart but aging center. running game will be near the top which will open up the passing game. special teams and coaching all back. the ravens will be in it and are still the top dog in a very tough division.

  14. taosravenfan says: Jul 23, 2013 4:20 PM

    I’ll take the ravens over either sf or Denver. Peyton Manning still chokes. And big brother still has little brothers number

  15. southpaw2k says: Jul 23, 2013 4:31 PM

    geemoney713 says:
    Jul 23, 2013 3:03 PM
    They’re just like the old Redskins or the Eagles of recent. Free agent signings don’t make a great team. Losing key players hurts.

    ————————————————–

    Sure, if you honestly think that Elvis Dumervil, Michael Huff, Chris Canty, and Marcus Spears aren’t collectively better than Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, and a 34-year-old Ed Reed.

    And if you really think the latter group is better than the former, consider yourself bopped on the head.

  16. grogansheroes says: Jul 23, 2013 5:20 PM

    I have a lot of respect for the Ravens. I think losing Boldin will really hurt them. He freed Smith to run all those go routes. Seems they will be relying on Rice and the TE’s. We’ll see if they can pick up those key 3rd and longs now. They have a good OL so that helps. As for the D, again we’ll see how much losing Lewis and Reed will affect them. Certainly their skills were declining, but they were key to putting others in the proper position. I still think they win the division, as I don’t trust Lewis and Dalton. It’s what makes the NFL so great. Also going to be tough to start on the road in Denver. No way they should have to open on the road.

  17. vibesid says: Jul 23, 2013 5:44 PM

    Ravens are currently #1, since they won the NFL Championship. Some other team can only take that away from them on the field. What people write on their computers makes no difference whatsoever.

  18. siggtacular says: Jul 23, 2013 5:44 PM

    REPEAT!!!!!!

    Baltimore Ravens 2x Super Bowl Champions

  19. NoWearMan says: Jul 23, 2013 5:54 PM

    Way too high, but no poll……

  20. whodey420 says: Jul 23, 2013 6:07 PM

    Ravens are still going to be tough!! It’s going to be them and the Bengals fighting it out for the AFC North. Ravens draft well but losing 2 HOF’s on
    defense is still going to sting! The bigger loss just might be Boldin.

    As for Citizenstrange pointing out the Ravens were
    10th in scoring and the Bengals 12th. Not much difference there except the Bengals drafted the best TE in the draft and maybe, just maybe the best RB.
    At the very least the change of pace, pass catching RB they sorely needed! Ray Rice is still a beast and Bernard Pierce wasn’t a slouch either. If Mohamed Sanu can stay healthy, the Bengals offense might put them over the top.

  21. trekker38 says: Jul 23, 2013 8:25 PM

    almost everyone forgets about Webb’s return on defense… Ravens D will be better than last year. The team is improved. So, to all the steeler fans digging into the Ravens… maybe you should look in the mirror and ask .. “what did we really do to get better?”. Not much, if anything. Ravens are champs, and the next EPIC Broncos-Ravens game is just 6 weeks away…

  22. watermelon1 says: Jul 23, 2013 9:19 PM

    For anyone who thinks the Ravens will end up “7-9″ or something ridiculous like that, I have to ask…

    What team in the AFC NORTH did anything to move them above the Ravens?

    The steelers got even older, lost their best receiver, and didn’t improve roethkiabergers blocking at all.

    Bengals refused to spend money.

    And the browns were so bad before that there’s no way they caught up.

    The big teams on ravens schedule… Packers(lost Jennings), patriots(lost their top 3 receivers), broncos(might not have their top pass rusher)

    This will be the first year Suggs has played alongside another viable pass rusher, with Dumervil. Both could be poised for big seasons.

    Honestly… I don’t see why anyone thinks the ravens will do anything less than make the playoffs and win their division.

  23. jmblosser82 says: Jul 23, 2013 11:56 PM

    Bengals tied the ravens at 10-6, they have plenty of young studs that can take them past the ravens. The steelers was just as close to being 10-6 as the ravens were being 8-8, yes they lost Wallace but he was a lousy receiver last year, stone hands comes to mind, no reason to think the steelers won’t make noise this year. Boldin is gone lead in rec and yards, top receiver in the playoffs. Lewis is gone, def play caller and lead the nfl in tackles during the playoffs. Reed gone, as bad of a tackler he was last year he still could take most int to the house. Lost your sack leader, but did make some improvement on defense but will take time for them to get insync. Those are the reasons why the ravens shouldn’t be sitting up top without the fear of being toppled over. Also last season records mean nothing this season, Colts went from 2 wins to 11. The nfl is set up so a team can easily go from worst to first in 1 season. All teams are 0-0, the ravens have e most recent trophy, but in 6 weeks its any team’s start at their turn, will not be the Ravens.
    Looking at the divisions, Denver is the only clear division winner, south will be tough between the texans and colts, east should still be the patriots given the track of the dolphins over spending with no results, and finally the north, as much as I like the steelers, I have to give the edge to the bengals.

  24. pleasefirecam says: Jul 24, 2013 1:18 AM

    If you’re the champs, you should be the #1 ranked team in the following years pre-season rankings…no if, and or buts about it. The Ravens are #1 till somebody proves otherwise, on the field you computer jock wanna-bes

  25. jimmyjames65 says: Jul 24, 2013 5:59 AM

    So this is what it’s like having a QB. The best the Ravens could do over the years is a 40 year old backup Randall Cunningham. I’m going to enjoy watching Worthlessburger put his face in his towel when Flacco takes the field.

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