The Baltimore Ravens made it to the promised land almost 7 months ago. So what’s next for the defending Super Bowl Champions? Here’s a look at five bold predictions for the purple and black as the new season gets underway.
1. Marlon Brown will emerge as the Ravens go to receiver
Much was made about the loss of Anquan Boldin during the offseason. The Ravens tried to plug in the hole left from his departure by signing Brandon Stokley to play slot receiver. But it’ll be Marlon Brown that saves the day for Baltimore. Brown has been stellar since training camp began and already has gained a rapport with Joe Flacco. His skill set seems perfect for the NFL. Look for him to have a breakout year much like Victor Cruz did his rookie season.
2. Joe Flacco will silence his critics…….again.
Flacco had to win the Super Bowl to get critics off his back. But as soon as the reigning MVP signed a lucrative $120 million dollar contract, the pundits latched right back on. In order for Flacco to silence his critics once and for all, he’ll have to produce on the field in the regular season. With Jim Caldwell as the full time offensive coordinator now in Baltimore, there is nothing holding Flacco back. Expect his postseason production to pour over into the 2013 regular season.
3. Terrell Suggs will win Defensive Player of the Year.
Suggs has become one of the leaders on defense with the departure of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The new role has left him focused on producing on the field as well as in the locker room. The athletic freak has looked impressive in camp. Paired with newly acquired pass rush specialist Elvis Dumervil, expect Suggs to have a monster year which will culminate in a second DPOY award.
4. This will be Michael Oher’s final year in Baltimore.
The Hollywood sensation known as Michael Oher made his way onto the Ravens roster a few years ago with the sole purpose of protecting Flacco’s “blind side”. Things didn’t pan out that way for the offensive lineman, but he has found his niche’ at right tackle. He’ll demand big money for his services and the Ravens won’t give it to him. He’ll make big money in free agency but he won’t be wearing purple and black.
5. The Baltimore Ravens will win the Super Bowl……again.
The Seahawks look dangerous. The Bengals have talent. The 49ers are loaded. But the Baltimore Ravens will win the Super Bowl for the second straight season. The defense is faster—much faster. The offense will continue to shine with Flacco under center and Rice in the backfield. Besides Denver and Houston, there isn’t any real competition in the AFC for the Ravens. Don’t let the national media fool you, this team is scary good.