The title may seem insane at first, but let’s take a finer look at the details.
I don’t expect the Ravens to have 13 Pro Bowlers next season whatsoever — they could get 6 or 7 maybe — but, let’s take a look at their record. The Ravens went an NFL-best 14-2 last year. They did this despite their best players being extremely young.
Lamar was 22, Marlon Humphrey was 23, Mark Andrews was 23 and Ronnie Stanley was only 25. If we add in young rookie receiver Marquise Brown who was 22, you’ll see the point. The Ravens’ stars can only improve from here.
But, how can they possibly repeat- or even improve on- a 14-2 record?
The Ravens have the easiest schedule in the league by a good bit, as their AFC North foes are not very strong.
Some may argue the 8-8 Steelers can compete, but they are second-to-last in the league in cap space this spring, with a tiny $1.5 million in cap space. I expect them to have a very similar season.
Now, for their out of division opponents.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, the Chiefs. The Ravens have kept pace with the defending champions in recent years, and this year they meet at M&T Bank Stadium. This will be easily the most loseable game on the schedule.
Looking past Mahomes and Co, we have the other AFC Division Champs, Houston and New England. If you recall last season, the Ravens absolutely tore apart the Texans’ offense and defense last year in a 41-7 blowout. I definitely have Baltimore taking that one.
As for the other one, New England, there’s no telling whether they’ll even get Tom Brady back. And, if you remember what happened last time the Ravens played them, they won 37-20. The Pats are declining big time, and could see a 2-3 drop in wins this year depending on how the offseason plays out. There’s another probable win.
The Ravens also take on the rest of the AFC South.
I’m sure everyone remembers the embarrassing playoff defeat against the Titans. However, the Titans could be losing Pro Bowl QB Ryan Tannehill, and therefore they’ll have to rely on someone else to run their offense next year vs the Ravens. That’s a win. The Colts and Jags will probably be towards the bottom of the NFL next year, so there are two more wins.
Now, for the Ravens’ final four opponents, they’ve got the worst division in the NFL, the NFC East.
The Cowboys and Eagles will most likely be mediocre again, around the 7-9 to 10-6 range. The Ravens get the Cowboys in Baltimore, and the Eagles game in Philly is basically a home game given how close it is. There are two more probable wins.
Then, they have the Giants at home. The Giants won’t be good next year at all, so that’s an easy victory for the Ravens. And finally, who in my opinion will be the worst team in the league next year, the Redskins. The Redskins game is in DC, but that’s basically another home game for the Ravens as DC is less than an hour from Baltimore. That’s another win.
So how do I see the Ravens’ season panning out?
I feel like their floor is around 12-4. Do I think they’ll go 16-0? Probably not. But I think the best bet is between 13-3 and 15-1.
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