The Ravens were the model of inconsistency on offense for most of last season, but the firing of Cam Cameron after Week 14 proved to be the greatest move the Ravens have ever made, as it led to an offensive explosion, and of course a Super Bowl championship. Now the Ravens are faced with a season where everyone will be gunning for them, and while their defense has taken a big hit this offseason, their offense has remained virtually intact from their Super Bowl team. Let’s take a look at what the Ravens’ offense will look like this season, and see if they will warrant any value in the NFL odds.
On paper, the Ravens stumbled into the playoffs, losing four of their last five games. They fired Cam Cameron after their Week 14 loss to the Redskins, and after a three game period where they were getting things together, the Ravens exploded in the playoffs.
Very few times do you see a firing that late in the season, and even less than that do we see a team go on to win. The Ravens scored no less than 24 points per game in the playoffs, and the 24 points was a low against the Colts in the wildcard round. After that, the Ravens put up an average of 33 points per game over their final three-playoff games.
There aren’t that many questions surrounding the Ravens’ offense this season. Even though they lost a lot on defense, they have been doing a lot to revamp that unit, but it is obvious that Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense will have to be the best unit the team has if they want to return to the postseason. All three of the other teams in this division have gotten better, and it remains to be seen if the Ravens’ are good enough on offense to lead the entire team.
The loss of Anquan Boldin hurts, but it is not devastating by any means. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce will likely take over a larger portion of the offense this season, and if Torrey Smith can turn into a #1 receiver, this team likely won’t miss much. I think Jacoby Jones will now start in the place of Boldin, and the wealth of weapons they have behind these guys will now all take on slightly larger roles in the offense.
Other than the question of Boldin, the only real question is can Flacco live up to his 2012 season, and his massive contract? I think he can, but the Ravens now have a huge target on their backs, and that might prove fatal to their shot at being great in the NFL picks this season.
The Ravens have been focusing on defense a lot more this offseason, as well they should. However, their mission to improve -and in most cases, replace- their defense has made their offseason offensive grade go down to a B-. However, of all the teams in this division, they still have the best offense, and they still have the most offensive upside.
My Grade: B-
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