To Represent the AFC in Super Bowl 52
This week on FS1’s mind numbing program UNDISPUTED former Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe made a prediction for the 2017 season that will be embraced by fans in Baltimore.
“The AFC representative this year in Super Bowl LII will be the Baltimore Ravens,” Sharpe said. “I love what they’ve done-adding Jeremy Maclin, Breshad Perriman got healthy last year, I love Mike Wallace. I love the addition of Danny Woodhead.”
Shannon Sharpe and Ray Lewis were both two of my favorite players in franchise history, but their skills in the broadcast booth or studio don’t match up with their production on the field.
Like Sharpe, I really like what the Ravens have done this offseason. The additions on offense of Woodhead and Maclin are great ones. The Woodhead signing can be one we’re talking about a few months from now that flew under the radar and paid big dividends.
The early investments on defense in the draft were a clear indication the Ravens are trying to get back to the things that made them so successful from 2008-2012. Again, another really smart move. However, this team still has too many uncertainties to declare it a sure playoff contender, let alone combatants for the Lombardi Trophy come Sunday, February 4.
The offensive line still has gaping holes and the fact that James Hurst would start at right tackle if the season started today is a scary one. Despite having a flock of tight ends that look good on paper, we’re not sure if any of them actually will be. Crockett Gillmore seems like he’s held together with bubble gum at this point. Ben Watson is 36 years old and coming off of an Achilles tear and Maxx Williams looks likely to follow suit with other recent second-round draft busts. Meanwhile, there’s a good chance we’ve seen the last of Darren Waller.
Will Perriman live up to the hype? Will anyone emerge as a legitimate pass rusher opposite aging Terrell Suggs? Can the Ravens actually establish a solid run game while 40 percent of their O-Line still in flux? There’s nothing wrong with high expectations but we should all be hoping this team makes it to January, let alone February.