Reality: The Denver Broncos are the 8th team to break the NFL scoring record during the regular season.
Perception: Believe it or not, none of the previous seven teams that broke the record went on to win the Super Bowl. There is a chance Denver could be the first, but it won’t be easy. Their #1 offense is going up against the NFL’s #1 defense.
Plus, the last team with the best record during the regular season to win the Super Bowl was the Patriots back in Super Bowl XXXVIII, 10 years ago. But both Seattle and Denver lead the league with 13 wins this year, so one of them has to win.
Reality: With the Cleveland Browns hiring Mike Pettine, there are now seven current NFL coaches who were once Ravens assistants.
Perception: The Ravens coaching tree is looking pretty good. The Browns is not. Pettine is the 5th head coach of the Browns since 2008. No other team in the AFC North has made a coaching change in that time. That said, I do think that Pettine will be successful in Cleveland… mainly because they have to give him at least three years. After firing Chud after just one season, Cleveland has to give this coach a chance. If not, they might never be able to get a coach to accept a job with them.
Reality: The Ravens could have an entirely new offensive coaching staff next season – with the exception of Juan Castillo.
Perception: The former Offensive Coordinator is now the Detroit Lions head coach. The Running Backs coach was let go. The Tight Ends coach won’t return. The Wide Receiver coach may not come back. Castillo is the offensive line coach and will return. And it looks like the former Texans coaching staff is making the move to Baltimore. Gary Kubiak (former Texans head coach) is now the OC. Rick Dennison (former OC) is now the Quarterbacks coach. Brian Pariani (former Tight Ends coach) is likely to become the Tight Ends coach. Chick Harris (former RBs coach) may also move to the Ravens for the same position.
Reality: The Ravens have gone 16 seasons without ranking in the Top 10 in Total Offense (last time was 1997).
Perception: That is tied for the 5th-longest streak in NFL history. I think that streak however will come to an end. With Kubiak and his new staff, I really feel good about the direction of this offense. The players will buy into the system because it has been proven successful over the years. Kubiak is an excellent play-caller and he fits what the Ravens have in personnel. But it will be interesting to see how the Ravens are able to rebuild their offensive line. The Ravens have usually had bigger guys up front, but a lot of what Kubiak calls for requires the O-line to be more athletic.