Well you’ve got mock drafts and draft grades before the rookies even take the field. And you’ve got Power Rankings during the preseason and even mock drafts for the 2015 NFL Draft prior to those college kids playing a single game in 2014.
Ok, so I’m not going to be that over-the-top but what I will do is predict the Ravens season game-by-game in a cheeky kind of way.
Week 1: Ravens v. Bengals (1-0)
Andy Dalton takes to pressure the way vampires take to sunlight prior to those innovative True Blood fangers. He’s never won at M&T Bank Stadium and there’s little reason to expect him to do so on Opening Day. Whatever the spread is the Ravens will cover it with all the enthusiasm that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms cover the Patriots.
Week 2: Ravens v. Steelers (2-0)
Speaking of which, Nantz and Simms are on the mic for CBS’ first ever Thursday Night game. What a way for Baltimore to celebrate on one of the last Thursday nights of the summer. Steelers have to travel on a short week and the 5,000 or so 34-year-old black and yellow clad eighth graders normally in attendance can’t make it on a school night.
Week 3: Ravens @ The Factory of Sadness (2-1)
10,000 fans wearing beagle masks surround the Ravens team bus preventing the players from taking the field. Roger Goodell declares a forfeit but promises Baltimore the hosting rights to Super Bowl XCIX (99) to help soften the blow.
Week 4: Ravens v. Panthers (3-1)
Blood and guts is the theme at a field within a cannon ball’s reach of Ft. McHenry. We’ll call this one “Steve Smith’s Revenge.” Oh say do you Ice Up?
Week 5: Ravens @ Colts (3-2)
Ravens are 0-5 in Indianapolis. Check that, 0-6.
Week 6: Ravens @ Tampa (4-2)
The Bucs are a road weary team coming off 3 consecutive games away from home. Mix that in with the fact that the Ravens feel quite at home by Raymond James’ pirate ship and this one has all the makings of a Lovie’s booty raid.
Week 7: Flacco v. Ryan (5-2)
As if you need more evidence suggesting the Ravens got the right guy the dirty birds will head back home after Matty Ice’s meltdown trucked, plucked and…well, you know.
Week 8: Ravens @ Bengals (6-2)
Right about at this point in the season Marvin Lewis will be looking at Andy Dalton as a coach killer while Bengals fans will come to realize just how important Mike Zimmer and Jay Gruden were to the big cats.
Week 9: Ravens @ Steelers (6-3)
Steelers will black out the scoreboard on kick returns and this time Mike Tomlin makes contact with Jacoby Jones, forcing a fumble that Referee Bill Leavy (Super Bowl XL) concludes, is not reviewable.
Week 10: Ravens v. Titans (7-3)
For those of you too young to remember, this old AFC Central rivalry was once more bitter than that between the Ravens and Steelers. Although admittedly it was more difficult to hold a grudge against the friendly southern folk from Tennessee than the scantily-toothed citizens of Pennsyltucky.
Week 11: BYE
No trips to DC to see Sweet Pea!
Week 12: Ravens @ Saints (7-4)
Monday Night Football in the Big Easy…unless Kyle Boller somehow is behind center for the Saints this could be a long night for the good guys. At least we’ll have Bourbon Street to drown our sorrows. Bead up!
Week 13: Ravens v. Chargers (8-4)
Philip Rivers will have that 80-year-old walk and a flappy chicken wing going on by this time in the season. Manti Te’o and his newest imaginary girlfriend head back to the west coast with a real “L”.
Week 14: Ravens @ Dolphins (9-4)
Welcome to Miami and 25,000 happy Ravens fans!
Week 15: Ravens v. Jaguars (10-4)
So which Jaguars quarterback will look like a high school senior this season?
Week 16: Ravens @ Texans (10-5)
This one has the makings of a letdown written all over it and all of the kings horses and all of Gary Kubiak’s romantic daydreams about coming home and conquering won’t be able to put this game plan together again for Harbaugh & Co.
Week 17: Ravens v. Browns (11-5)
Ravens clinch the AFC North title with this win which serves as yet another reminder to Browns fans that Santa never stops in Cleveland.