RSR staff give our predictions for the 2017 Ravens…
– The Ravens will not score more than 20 points in any of their first 4 games but they will be (2-2) at the season’s quarter pole.
– Marty Mornhinweg’s offense will rank in the bottom third in all major statistical categories through the first 9 games. He will be replaced by Greg Roman during the Week 10 bye.
– The Ravens will not have a 1,000-yard receiver or running back. Terrance West however, will post double-digit touchdowns.
– Not one member of Dean Pees’ defense will record double-digit sacks but five players will register 8-9 sacks.
– The Ravens D will finish the season as the NFL’s third-best in yards allowed (just behind the Seahawks and Bucs) and first overall in points allowed.
– Eric Weddle will lead the team with 5 interceptions.
– John Harbaugh keeps his job despite another (8-8) season.
– The Houston Texans will defeat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 52.
– Quarterback Joe Flacco will not appear in all 16 games. The lack of preseason work, his back injury and questions on the offensive line have left him vulnerable.
– The running game does show some improvement. That unit was ranked 28th in the NFL last season, and it will move up about 10 spots to crack the top 20 because of the extra carries.
– Jeremy Maclin will lead the team with receptions because of his ability to get open and catch intermediate passes.
– Justin Tucker will have another career-year because of the opportunities to make kicks.
– The Ravens will have the top-ranked defense for at least several opening weeks, but will eventually drop a bit because the offense cannot keep them off the field.
– Cornerback Marlon Humphrey will take over a starting role at some point during the season.
– Rookies Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams will combine for 12 sacks.
– The defense, overall, is good enough to lead the team to a 9-7 record and earn a wild-card spot in the playoffs.
– The Patriots will beat the Packers in the Super Bowl.
– The Redskins will go 7-9 and finish fourth in the NFC East.
This Ravens team goes into the season with more uncertainty than any team in recent memory. The starting offense has spent very little time on the field and it will show the first few weeks of the season.
The Ravens will attempt to get back to an effective running game but they’ll quickly realize that they don’t have the offensive line to be effective. At that point they’ll quickly revert back to Marty Ball where Joe Flacco will attempt the most passes in the NFL through week six. They will stumble to a 3-5 first half and Greg Roman will take over play calling duties for Marty Mornhinweg. They’ll briefly show signs of life and finish the season strong going 6-2 over their final eight weeks finishing at 9-7 but will still be on the outside looking in.
Ronnie Stanley will improve on his solid rookie season and grade out as one of the top three left tackles in football. The pick that most of us cringed about during the 2016 draft will emerge as a cornerstone on the offensive line.
Tyus Bowser will be the Ravens most impactful rookie and notch 8 sacks while starting opposite Terrell Suggs.
Jimmy Smith will finally play a full season and be one of the top 10 cornerbacks in the NFL. He’ll finish the season with 7 picks including two he takes to the house.
Joe Flacco has another sub par season despite throwing for over 4,000 yards. His total is more a product of his total attempts than his overall performance. We’ll all continue to have the debate about what quarterback tier he falls into next offseason. Danny Woodhead will be the beneficiary of Joe’s checkdowns.
The offensive line will perform poorly and no Ravens rusher will have over 750 yards.
Terrell Suggs will show his age and finish the season with 5 sacks despite playing the entire season.
It’s fair to dream about a 4-0 start, should the Ravens somehow be able to end their four-game losing skid in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, it’s also possible to dread a 1-3 start.
Such is life for most NFL teams, especially those with as little margin for error as our Ravens have shown over the past several seasons.
Ravens fans will be “treated” to more of the same of what we’ve become accustomed to: ugly, barely-watchable football games that come down to the final minutes every week. Depending on which way the ball bounces, this could be an 11-5 squad or a 6-10 squad. I prefer to live life optimistically, so I’ll predict a 10-6 record and yet another wild card berth.
The Ravens offense heads back to the days of the kicker scoring all the points, but this time it’s the foot of Justin Tucker, and not Matt Stover, that they rely on. That’s through the first six games. Flacco struggles mightily in the first two games of the season, as he returns from injury. Perriman, Wallace, and Maclin try to help lift the struggling offense, but no one can get going. And with a restructured offensive line, the offense can’t get enough points to make a real difference.
But as they hit the halfway point, the offense hits their stride and begins to make some real plays to help pick up the defense.
The D looks nothing like the last two seasons, where they struggled, and is a Top 5 defensive unit and helps lead the Ravens to a Wild Card playoff berth. But it’s not enough to overcome a Patriots team led by Tom Brady, who wins the Super Bowl and announces his retirement from the NFL.
— Danny Woodhead will lead the team in receptions
— Joe Flacco will have his highest completion percentage as a pro
— The Ravens will lead the NFL in sacks, but no one player will record more than 8.
— Chris Moore will return 3 kicks for touchdowns this season
Give us your 2017 predictions below!