Baltimore Ravens 2008 NFL Projection:
John Harbaugh takes over as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, marking the end of the Brian Billick
era during which the team posted four double digit win seasons out of nine campaigns, including four playoff appearances and one
Super Bowl victory. It certainly doesn't seem like a performance worthy of a firing, especially just one season
removed from a (13-3) record, but what's done is done.
Looking ahead to the new season the Ravens appear to be a team that possesses two key elements needed to win in the NFL.
First the ability to stop the run on the defensive side of the ball with a top notch defensive line and linebacking crew that includes the likes of
Ngata and Lewis.
And second, the ability to gain yards
running the ball on offense with an offensive line specializing in run blocking leading the way for McGahee and/or perhaps Ray Rice...
Don't forget the success
new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was having with the Miami
running game before starting back Ronnie Brown tore his ACL.
Yes it's true the Dolphins posted an abysmal record. But it certainly
wasn't due to lack of run success in the early going.
That being said, perhaps the biggest issue facing Edgar, Allan, Poe and the Ravens aside from the coaching change-- is the performance of the passing game.
Kyle Boller is out for the year, and as of this update it's uncertain whether he will ever play another game as a Raven.
With Smith suffering from a viral infection, rookie Flacco will begin the season as the starter.
Unfortunately, the Ravens aren't much of a threat in the wide receiver department.
So in order for the passing game to have success, it will either have to feed off the running game, or the offensive line will have to
turn in a surprise performance in the pass blocking department to buy extra time for Flacco or Smith.
If the Ravens aren't able to be competitive in the passing game, McGahee will find himself forced to run into defenses fully prepared to stop the run-- leaving
the success of the Ravens' season in the hands of the defense and special teams. At least both of these units have turned in some superb performances in the recent past.
Furthermore, if the passing game isn't able to hold up its end of the bargain, and the defense & running game can't compensate,
QB Flacco will almost certainly see tons of playing time this season.
A look at Baltimore's 2008 schedule
shows eight games versus teams that made the playoffs last season including;
Not to mention two games against the
who where on the cusp of making the playoffs last season.
With another tough schedule just as in 2007, and a passing game that may once again prove to be non-existent, it's hard to predict the Ravens for playoff glory in January of 2009.
However Baltimore's defense ought to be strong enough to keep the Ravens competitive in a handful of games.
Overall we're now predicting a record of (4-12) for the 2008 Baltimore Ravens-- a series of downgrades before the season has kicked off due to the sudden
change in their quarterback situation.
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Free 2008 NFL Predictions Note:
these now archived 2008 NFL forecasts were made
during the 2008 preseason.
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