NFL Futures: A Look At The Ravens Next Season
We are less than 24 hours removed from Super Bowl XLVII and even though the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34-31, they are pegged as 12/1 favorites on the NFL odds board behind four other teams to win it all next year.
The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos lead the way as 7/1 favorites, followed by the New England Patriots at 15/2 and the Green Bay Packers at 10/1 before the Ravens show up at fifth on the list on the betting slate for NFL Futures.
Could it be that the Odds-makers know something we don’t?
Well, try this one on for size: interestingly enough, the last seven Super Bowl Champions failed to win a playoff game the following season.
With the possibility of losing many players in free agency, the Ravens can become more like the 2012 Giants who missed the playoffs entirely this year after winning the Super Bowl it the prior season than a team looking to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in back-to-back seasons.
The defense, which has been the mainstay of the team will lose its leader Ray Lewis to retirement and more than likely will not have the resources to keep free safety Ed Reed or outside linebacker Paul Kruger. Not having those three players alone puts the Ravens back against the wall.
On offense, Joe Flacco will be at the helm leading the way, but giving the Super Bowl MVP quarterback a high amount of money, which he deserves, will hurt the Ravens as it relates to the salary cap and signing free agents for this upcoming season and beyond.
It is tough to win in this league as it is, but when every team is gunning for you because you have the Vince Lombardi Trophy hanging over your head it makes it all the more difficulty to not only repeat as champions, but also to make the playoffs.
The Ravens were definitely a team of destiny this season and while I expected them to beat the 49ers and win the Super Bowl, which they obviously did, I don’t see them coming anywhere near that same success next season. They won't be among my early NFL picks to make it through the playoffs.
Futures odds are all about value, but unfortunately I do not see any value with taking the Ravens at 12/1 next season to win the Super Bowl. The AFC is just too stacked and with teams like Denver and New England expected to be there, the Ravens won’t be able to compete.