2014 NFL Power Rankings countdown: 13. Baltimore Ravens


Nov 10, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) prepares to throw the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown

13.  Baltimore Ravens (AFC North)

2013 Record:  8-8

Head coach:  John Harbaugh – The Ravens ended up suffering a Super Bowl slump in 2013 after winning it the previous season.  After winning the Super Bowl, coach John Harbaugh’s team struggled to find its footing.  However, the pieces are still in place to get back to the playoffs if quarterback Joe Flacco can rebound from a sub par season and the Ravens running game can get going again.

Best offensive player:  Joe Flacco, quarterback – Flacco and the Ravens passing game suffered from the offenses’ inability to run the football, and a decline in performance from Ray Rice.  The result was the offense having to pass more and Flacco trying to make too much happen.  The Ravens running game should improve tis season, and Flacco performance as well.

Best defensive player:  Terrell Suggs, defensive end – Haloti Ngata is a great player, but I had to go with Terrell Suggs.  He led the Ravens in sacks last season with 10.  And even though he’s entering his twelfth season, Suggs is still capable of putting up double-digit sack totals.  And if the Ravens are going to make a run at the playoffs this season, then they’ll need Suggs to have another big season.

Rising Star:  Marlon Brown, wide receiver – Brown was a surprise as a rookie for the Ravens in 2013 as he finished second on the team with 49 receptions for 524 yards.  He also led the team with 7 touchdown receptions.  At 6’4 Brown’s height is a great asset, especially in the Red Zone.

Best new addition:  Steve Smith, wide receiver – The Ravens were in need of more weapons on offense, and when Steve Smith was released by the Carolina Panthers, the Ravens moved quickly to sign him.  He’s still capable making big plays, and that’s something the Ravens are in need of.

Biggest offseason loss: Corey Graham, cornerback – Graham was the third cornerback for the Ravens last season.  And as much as teams are passing the ball these days the third corner is just as important as the starters.  The Ravens chose not to re-sign Graham and he left in free agency, so the Ravens need to ensure that letting him go wasn’t a mistake.

Biggest strength:  The Ravens biggest strength is their front seven. Led by Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata, the Ravens defensive line and linebacking unit have always been the key to the team.  And now they have a good inside linebacker in rookie C.J. Mosley, so the front seven will only get stronger.          NFL Power Rankings

Biggest weakness:  The Ravens biggest weakness is their offensive line.  Even with a guy like Eugene Monroe the Ravens offensive line wasn’t very good, especially in run blocking as the Ravens had one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL last season.  If the Ravens are to return to the playoffs, they will need the offensive line to play much better in 2014

32. Houston Texans

31. Cleveland Browns

30.  Minnesota Vikings

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

28. Oakland Raiders

27.  Washington Redskins

26.  Atlanta Falcons

25.  Buffalo Bills

24.  Tennessee Titans

23.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

22.  Detroit Lions

21.  Miami Dolphins

20.  St. Louis Rams

19.  New York Jets

18.  Dallas Cowboys

17.  New York Giants

16.  Pittsburgh Steelers

15.  Philadelphia Eagles

14.  Chicago Bears

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