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NFL Previews: 2014 Baltimore Ravens Preview and Analysis

USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens had their issues last season, with a lot of the problem due to the offense losing Pitta early in the season.  Baltimore finished the season with a record of 8-8, just missing the post season.

The offense really struggled on the ground last season, ranking 30th in the league in rushing yards per game, averaging just 83 per outing.  The passing attack also struggled without Pitta in the lineup, and that brought on the questions on whether or not Flacco is worth the large contract he is currently receiving.  Ray Rice is back in the backfield for the Ravens, but Rice definitely had a down season in 2013, and if Ray struggles again this season, look for more and more opportunities from Bernard Pierce.  Flacco has a new weapon on the outside in wideout Steve Smith, who showed the entire league that he can still play last season, playing a huge part in the Panthers success last season.

Defensively, the Ravens are still in the rebuilding mode from their Super Bowl run, but Ozzie Newsome has drafted heavy on the defensive side of the ball.  Based on past success from Newsome’s ability to analyze talent, there is no reason to suspect that many of these picks will turn out well for the Ravens and contribute heavily on the defensive unit in 2014 and the future.  I would not be surprised at all if Baltimore made their way back into the top ten in NFL defenses in 2014. 

The Ravens have a favorable schedule this season.  Baltimore is lucky enough to avoid the Patriots entirely this year, and Baltimore gets to face the Saints in Baltimore, and we all have heard how big of an advantage it is getting that team out of the dome.

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Pick:
Baltimore Ravens Predicted 2014 Record: 9-7

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