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Still a top-notch defense?

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Baltimore Ravens
2011 record: 12-4 (First in AFC North)

Fearless Forecast

  • Bucky Brooks

    The Ravens’ no-huddle offense could vault Joe Flacco into the ranks of the elite, as he supplants Ray Rice as the driving force of the offense.
    Prediction: 12-4, first in AFC North

  • Daniel Jeremiah

    It sounds very weird to say it, but I'm actually a bit concerned about the Ravens' defense. Losing Terrell Suggs was a devastating blow to the pass rush. Joe Flacco has another year of valuable postseason experience under his belt, and the offense should be better.
    Prediction:9-7, second in AFC North

  • Adam Schein

    The Baltimore Ravens are a complete team. Ray Rice is a star. Joe Flacco proved something to critics, like me, with his performance in the AFC Title game last year. Even without Terrell Suggs for the bulk of the year, Baltimore's defense is great, anchored by star tackle Haloti Ngata.
    Prediction: 11-5, first in AFC North

  • Steve Wyche

    Joe Flacco continues to improve with a big-play offense made for his big arm. No T-Sizzle hurts for awhile, but there's enough D to cover his back.
    Prediction: 11-5, first in AFC North

In The Spotlight
Ray Lewis | #52 | LB

At 37 years old and 17 years into a Hall of Fame career, Lewis isn’t being asked to do any less. If anything, the stalwart, the voice and the heartbeat of the Ravens’ defense might be asked to do more. With pass rushing demon Terrell Suggs out indefinitely after tearing his Achilles, it will be up to a leaner, svelter Lewis -- who changed his offseason workout regimen -- to make sure Baltimore still terrorizes quarterbacks.

3 Pivotal Games
Week 3 vs. Patriots
It’s Sunday night, it’s coach John Harbaugh’s 50th birthday and it’s a rematch of the AFC title game, a heartbreaking loss for the Ravens. This should be a good gauge of what a Suggs-less defense can do to an elite quarterback. More importantly, it could set the early line on who is the AFC frontrunner.
Week 13 vs. Steelers
The Ravens will have just been in Pittsburgh two weeks before. If they lose, this will be their chance to even things and eliminate a tiebreaker disadvantage. If they win, it’s a chance to sweep their bitter rivals -- for a second year in a row.
Week 16 vs. Giants
By here, the Ravens could be jockeying for playoff seeding. In an NFC East that projects to be incredibly tight, so too could be the Giants. It’s two of the league’s top defenses and it has all the makings of a real fistfight.



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