Okay, I think I’ve blown enough smoke up Baltimore’s wahoo. I don’t like their team this year. They’ve lost some huge pieces this offseason (Torrey Smith, Haloti Ngata, Pernell McPhee, etc). I don’t think you can expect a team to bounce back the following year after losing players of their caliber.
Former Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman takes over the offensive coordinator position from Gary Kubiak, who is now the head coach in Denver. Can Trestman regain his ‘quarterback guru’ reputation and make Joe Flacco’s naysayers admit he’s an elite quarterback?
Here is the 2015 NFL team preview for the Baltimore Ravens.
2014 Win/Loss Record: 10-6
Key Additions: QB Matt Schaub, S Kendrick Lewis, CB Kyle Arrington & QB Bryn Renner
Key Losses: WR Torrey Smith, DT Haloti Ngata, LB Pernell McPhee, TE Owen Daniels, WR Jacoby Jones, C Gino Gradkowski, RB Bernard Pierce, DT Terrence Cody, S Darian Stewart, QB Tyrod Taylor, TE Phillip Supernaw, S Jeromy Miles, CB Aaron Ross, G Will Rackley & CB Antoine Cason
2015 Draft Picks: WR Breshad Perriman, TE Maxx Williams, DT Carl Davis, DE Za’Darius Smith, RB Buck Allen, CB Tray Walker, TE Nick Boyle, OG Robert Myers & WR Darren Waller
Non-Division Schedule: AFC West, NFC West & (Jacksonville/Miami)
Fantasy Sleeper: RB Lorenzo Taliferro – Justin Forsett will go too early in your fantasy draft. Yes, he was impressive at the end of last season, but he’s a small running back and last year was his first 1,000 yard season of his career. The soon-to-be 30-year-old running back will need help at the goal-line. Taliferro is taller and has about thirty pounds on Forsett. He could become a touchdown vulture.
Offense – QB Joe Flacco, RB Justin Forsett, WR Steve Smith Sr., WR Breshad Perriman, WR Marlon Brown, TE Maxx Williams, LT Eugene Monroe, LG Kelechi Osemele, C Jeremy Zuttah, RG Marshal Yanda & RT Ric Wagner
Defense – DE Timmy Jernigan, DT Brandon Williams, DE Chris Canty, LOLB Terrell Suggs, ILB C.J. Mosley, ILB Daryl Smith, ROLB Courtney Upshaw, CB Ladarius Webb, CB Jimmy Smith, SS Will Hill & FS Kendrick Lewis
Team Analysis: Baltimore is in transition mode. They let some guys leave town, but scored some nice assets in the draft. Their defense will still be good, but I did not like seeing them trade Ngata and letting McPhee walk. They will need to rely on their defense more as their offense is a work in progress. New offensive coordinator Marc Trestman has an aerial-focused offense. I’m not sure how Steve Smith Sr. will hold up in his final year and Marlon Brown has yet to really shoulder any load in his first two years. Breshad Perriman will be a good NFL wide receiver, but I never expect much from rookie receivers. The Ravens will drop out of the AFC North division race this year as they re-tool. I don’t expect them to be down long.
2015 Wins Over/Under Line: 9.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 7-9 (3rd (tie) in AFC North)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.