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3/22/2013 11:58 AM
Posted by burnsy483 on 3/22/2013 11:04:00 AM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 3/22/2013 10:57:00 AM (view original):
So Baltimore loses several key players, Cincy loses none to few, but Baltimore will still win the division easy, and you'd be totally surprised if they didn't?

Are you often surprised by things that happen in football? Teams fall apart/surprise with a great record often on a yearly basis.
I'll be honest, I got the impression the Ravens played above their heads this year.  At one point they didn't look like a playoff team (granted there were injuries involved).  But their offense wasn't anything too special that screams "playoff quality" and I got the impression the defense was on a "our leader is retiring" high. With the 2 leaders on defense gone, and Flacco's most reliable weapon gone, right now, this looks like a 8-8 team to me.
They were also 9-2 and the second best team in the AFC at one point.  Then the injuries started to take their toll and they had that mini-skid towards the end of the year, but they won the game they had to win (the Giants) so they could coast into the playoffs and rest players against the Bengals.  They probably had some of that win one for the gipper, but the first playoff game was also the first time all year where they were mostly healthy defensively (still were without Webb, but otherwise pretty healthy).  A healthy team is a thing of beauty.  If Baltimore was healthy all season they would have been a 14-2, 13-3 type team, not the 10-6 team that they were.
3/22/2013 11:59 AM
Posted by moranis on 3/22/2013 10:45:00 AM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 3/21/2013 6:45:00 PM (view original):
In the parity-driven NFL, it's not difficult to tumble quickly.    As a Raiders fan, I saw my team go from Super Bowl to suckitude overnight.    Eight starters are a lot to replace. 
The Ravens are not the Raiders.  Would I be totally surprised if Baltimore didn't win the division, absolutely not, but they are imo the best team in their division still, which means a home playoff game and Baltimore almost never loses games at home.

Pittsburgh has lost a ton so they should be even worse than last year.  Cincinnati should be a pretty good team again, but aside from Green their offense scares no one, so they will once again need the defense, which has been a pretty darn healthy squad the last two years (which means they are due for the injury bug).  Cleveland should be better, but is no where near ready to challenge for division titles.

The Raiders weren't the Raiders either until they took a free fall. 

Again, it's not like the Ravens steamrolled thru the NFL.   They played a couple of good games at the end of the season.
3/22/2013 12:01 PM
Exactly. If it hadn't been for an amazingly lucky 4th and 29, they would have lost to the Chargers. And the Chargers were a giant pile of suck.
3/22/2013 12:02 PM
Posted by bistiza on 3/22/2013 11:48:00 AM (view original):
LOL

Welker demonstrated a ton of key skills for slot receivers in Miami before he ever came to the Patriots. Amendola's no slouch, but he's not going to end up like Welker.

Amendola will get his chances, there is no doubt about that. Brady NEEDS to have someone whose main job is to get open in case he faces anything remotely resembling pressure, so he can dump the ball off, because he performs terribly under pressure. Amendola will no doubt have a shot to replace Welker in that role. If he does even a decent job, his numbers should increase, because anyone who serves the dump off role for Brady will get plenty of balls thrown his way.
Amendola is a very good slot receiver and has excellent hands.  His problem is he is very fragile and will be lucky to stay healthy.  When healthy he actually put up pretty solid numbers and that is playing in St. Louis which was a mess offensively.  I think he can replace Welker's production in the games he plays, but it will be hard for him and Brady to find their sweet spot since he almost definitely won't play every game.
3/22/2013 12:05 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 3/22/2013 11:59:00 AM (view original):
Posted by moranis on 3/22/2013 10:45:00 AM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 3/21/2013 6:45:00 PM (view original):
In the parity-driven NFL, it's not difficult to tumble quickly.    As a Raiders fan, I saw my team go from Super Bowl to suckitude overnight.    Eight starters are a lot to replace. 
The Ravens are not the Raiders.  Would I be totally surprised if Baltimore didn't win the division, absolutely not, but they are imo the best team in their division still, which means a home playoff game and Baltimore almost never loses games at home.

Pittsburgh has lost a ton so they should be even worse than last year.  Cincinnati should be a pretty good team again, but aside from Green their offense scares no one, so they will once again need the defense, which has been a pretty darn healthy squad the last two years (which means they are due for the injury bug).  Cleveland should be better, but is no where near ready to challenge for division titles.

The Raiders weren't the Raiders either until they took a free fall. 

Again, it's not like the Ravens steamrolled thru the NFL.   They played a couple of good games at the end of the season.
You mean until Gruden's influence on Al Davis had worn off (and yeah I know Callahan was the coach for the Superbowl but that was all Gruden's players).  Once Gruden left there was no one that could even think to stop Al Davis from being Al Davis.  It also didn't help the Raiders that they lost Gannon to injury the next year.

The Ravens have the best GM in football.  They have one of the better owners and better coaches in football.  The Ravens are not the Raiders.

3/22/2013 12:07 PM
Posted by moranis on 3/22/2013 11:58:00 AM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 3/22/2013 11:04:00 AM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 3/22/2013 10:57:00 AM (view original):
So Baltimore loses several key players, Cincy loses none to few, but Baltimore will still win the division easy, and you'd be totally surprised if they didn't?

Are you often surprised by things that happen in football? Teams fall apart/surprise with a great record often on a yearly basis.
I'll be honest, I got the impression the Ravens played above their heads this year.  At one point they didn't look like a playoff team (granted there were injuries involved).  But their offense wasn't anything too special that screams "playoff quality" and I got the impression the defense was on a "our leader is retiring" high. With the 2 leaders on defense gone, and Flacco's most reliable weapon gone, right now, this looks like a 8-8 team to me.
They were also 9-2 and the second best team in the AFC at one point.  Then the injuries started to take their toll and they had that mini-skid towards the end of the year, but they won the game they had to win (the Giants) so they could coast into the playoffs and rest players against the Bengals.  They probably had some of that win one for the gipper, but the first playoff game was also the first time all year where they were mostly healthy defensively (still were without Webb, but otherwise pretty healthy).  A healthy team is a thing of beauty.  If Baltimore was healthy all season they would have been a 14-2, 13-3 type team, not the 10-6 team that they were.
It's fair, actually.  Although again, I thought they were a little bit of a soft 9-2 at that point.  But I did pick them to go to the Super Bowl preseason, so I do recognize what talent was there.  We'll see.  My point is more "nothing should surprise you in this league."  Crazy things happen every year.  I doubt many people thought Pittsburgh would only go 8-8...if they go 11-5 this upcoming year, and Baltimore goes 10-6, that should not shock you.
3/22/2013 12:09 PM
The Ravens are not some super team that's immune to failure.

Seriously, Jones doesn't catch that pass ever again in Denver.   I'd have done a better job in breaking that up simply because I'd have started 30 yards deep.  The ONLY way Baltimore has a chance is if the receiver gets behind the DBs.  NEVER should have happened. 
3/22/2013 12:10 PM
Did anyone see the Chiefs going 2-14 last season? The Eagles underachieving 2 years ago and sucking last year? The Seahawks becoming a dominant football team? The Colts making the playoffs?  The Chargers out of playoff contention with 4 games to go?
3/22/2013 1:11 PM
I think he can replace Welker's production in the games he plays, but it will be hard for him and Brady to find their sweet spot since he almost definitely won't play every game.

It doesn't matter if they find a 'sweet spot' or not. Brady will need SOMEONE to throw to when he faces pressure, so if Amendola is out, someone else will be designated as the guy whose job is to get open in case Brady needs a quick outlet. It could be a back, a tight end (those guys have sure bailed him out in recent years too), whoever replaces Amendola when he's down, or anyone else. Someone's job will be to make sure to get open on what is typically a short route so Brady won't have to cry and whine when he takes a sack.
3/22/2013 1:42 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 3/22/2013 12:09:00 PM (view original):
The Ravens are not some super team that's immune to failure.

Seriously, Jones doesn't catch that pass ever again in Denver.   I'd have done a better job in breaking that up simply because I'd have started 30 yards deep.  The ONLY way Baltimore has a chance is if the receiver gets behind the DBs.  NEVER should have happened. 
You are correct they aren't, but since Harbaugh and Flacco got there, they have not only made the playoffs every single year, they have won at least 1 playoff game every single year.  They also have more wins (post and regular season) in that five year span than any other team in the NFL.  This wasn't some fluke.  The Ravens were building to that for the previous four years.  Now I by no means think they should be the favorite for the Superbowl again.  Denver seems like the clear team to beat in the AFC at this point.  New England (and maybe Houston) should also be very good again as well.  I just believe the Ravens' death has been highly exaggerated.  They are still a team with 2 NFL defensive player of the year candidates (one of which won the thing 2 years ago).  A team that still has some excellent corners and linebackers and great depth on the DL.  Offensively they didn't lose a whole lot in the grand scheme of things and should easily overcome the losses (I mean McKinnie hardly played until the post season - now granted the line was way better with him and Yanda playing in the post season).
3/22/2013 2:13 PM
Baltimore may very well be capable of replacing over 1/3 of their starters without missing a beat.  However, football is a team sport.   Players have to work together.   That doesn't come over night.
3/22/2013 3:14 PM
Posted by MikeT23 on 3/22/2013 2:13:00 PM (view original):
Baltimore may very well be capable of replacing over 1/3 of their starters without missing a beat.  However, football is a team sport.   Players have to work together.   That doesn't come over night.
True, but they return a bunch of guys that started a bunch because of the injuries.  I guess that is point I have been making.  It isn't like they lost 8 starters that started all 16 games and all 4 playoff games.  They are replacing mostly a bunch of guys that started less than half of the 20 games, with guys that started the other half of those games coming back.  Kruger, for example, wasn't even a starter in the Super Bowl, but has been deemed one by the media (the Ravens started Jones, Kemoeatu, and Ngata on the line and Suggs, Ellerbe, Lewis, and Upshaw at LB).  McCllelan started 12 games at LB.  McClain and Webb are back after being injured and starting every game before getting hurt. 
3/22/2013 3:23 PM
I guess the point I'm attempting to make is that I wouldn't be as confident about my team's chances with that many departures.   The NFL is set-up for parity.   The Ravens will get a first place schedule and they're in a tough division.  As someone mentioned earlier, if nothing else, they'll lack the depth they had.  An injury here or there and you've got guys who didn't expect to play a down in the starting line-up. 
3/22/2013 7:27 PM
I think moranis is way too dismissive of Pittsburgh. They went 8-8 with an absurd amount of close losses. Losing Mike Wallace and some old guys is hardly going to be the end of their run, unless Charlie Batch is still involved in the 3 games or so Rape misses every year.
3/22/2013 10:20 PM
Posted by stinenavy on 3/22/2013 7:27:00 PM (view original):
I think moranis is way too dismissive of Pittsburgh. They went 8-8 with an absurd amount of close losses. Losing Mike Wallace and some old guys is hardly going to be the end of their run, unless Charlie Batch is still involved in the 3 games or so Rape misses every year.
they signed gradkowski from cincinnati to back up ben.  should provide a lot better backup than Batch.

They lost a lot more than Wallace though.  Colon, Mendenhall, Lewis, Mundy, Harrison all gone.  Hampton and Starks are still unsigned and they have like no cap room.  They are also pretty old at a lot of positions.  I think they will bad another year or two before they can clear out the cap a bit and get younger.  And this is a team that lost to Oakland, Cleveland, Tennessee, and San Diego.  It isn't like they only lost to playoff teams. 
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