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BALTIMORE RAVENS PREVIEW: A Clean Bill of Health

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AFC NORTH PREVIEW

August 16th, 2016

Offensive Nuggets

The Ravens are  sneakily stacked on offense this season, so don’t be shocked when they start easily covering the spread as both the fave or the dog.  They are going to run up scores all season long barring a laundry list of injuries like they incurred last season.  They are already carrying seven WRs that are worthy of NFL rosters, so it will be interesting who of Steve Smith Jr., Kamar Aiken, Mike Wallace, Chris Matthews, Breshad Perriman, and Michael Campanaro will be cut, but the first three who are obviously safe make for a killer unit.  The Ravens are deep at RB as well, and have three great pass catching TEs as well.  The Raven’s offense was ravaged by injuries last season, and if they are healthy, they should be considered an instant AFC contender.

 

Defensive Nuggets

Much like the offense the defense was hit hard with the injury bug as well.  This season, the core and then some of this unit is returning, intact and healthy.  The defense will again be lead by a now healthy Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, and Elvis Dumervil, and both Ladarius Webb and Jimmy Smith in the secondary.  Don’t sleep on this unit as well as they will feed of the offense and be very tough to score on this season.

 

Don’t Forget

Keenan Reynolds, from Navy who was a dominant college athlete is signed and without a clear role.  As interesting as that sounds, you can bet John Harbaugh has a plan for Reynolds and that very few people are going to what that is.  Reynolds has some of the best rushing totals in NCAA history, so it’s no secret that he can handle the ball.  Don’t be shocked if he makes the roster and is a contributor.

 

X-Factor

Joe Flacco get’s star money, but doesn’t put up star numbers.  The kitchen in Baltimore hasn’t been this stocked in years, so it’s going to be up to Flacco to mobilize all of this talent and keep the offense firing.  The time is now.

 

 

Fantasy Fruit

Kamar Aiken will be cheaper than Steve Smith on draft day and will likely put up better numbers, so you can do the math on that one.  How Mike Wallace fit’s into the equation is still to be determined, but none of these WRs can be trusted.  Just don’t spend big money on Smith Jr.  The Baltimore defense on the other hand is a top 5 defense, and should be rostered accordingly.  You’ve been warned.

 

Verdict

This team is scary good and grossly underrated.  Every game will be close, as Weeks 3-8 are going to be tough.  They should start out 2-0, but then have some tough road games at  the Jaguars, Giants, Jets,  and Dallas.  All four should be close as will home games against Washington and Oakland.  The game of the year will be a New England, which is a tough draw because that’s how the schedule played out.  They finish with two divisional road games at Cincy and Pittsburgh, which is as perplexing as it sounds.  The bounce back is real, 11-5 or 10-6 is how the chips are going to fall.  Either way they win the division, because of a superior divisional record.

The Baltimore Ravens are a -3.0 point Home Favorite in week 1 vs. Buffalo Bills. Get all of your NFL Week 1 odds.

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