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Baltimore lost in the Divisional round of the AFC playoffs to their hated division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers were a thorn in the Ravens’ side last season, as Baltimore finished with the same 12-4 record as Pittsburgh, but Pittsburgh held the tie-breaker and thus, the Ravens were handed the Wild Card. With the Browns and Bengals still not projected to be in the same class as the Steelers and Ravens, Baltimore will look to better the team that beat them in 2 of 3 meetings last season and eliminated them from the playoffs.
This season, the Ravens are projected to finish 2nd in the division despite a projected 11-5 record, same as the Steelers. Baltimore has a 45% probability of winning the AFC North and an 83% expectation of making the playoffs. With the talent Baltimore has on its roster, anything short of the playoffs would be a massive disappointment.
Quarterback Joe Flaco enters his 4th season in the league, and the 26 year-old is coming off his best season as a pro. Last season, Flaco threw for 25 TDs and 3,622 yards with only 10 INTs, earning a QB rating of 93.6. With top-quality targets such as Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Flaco should have no trouble continuing to put up solid passing numbers this season. Head coach John Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron need to utilize Ray Rice and Willis McGahee and provide some offensive balance if Baltimore wants to improve on the 16th best scoring offense in the league from a season ago. With Baltimore’s offense finally catching up to Baltimore’s defense (ranked 1st overall in Total Defense –YPG for 2010), the Ravens have the potential to win the AFC, not just the AFC North.
Projected Record: 11-5
Projected Division Finish: 2 of 4
Probability of Winning Division: 45%
Probability of Making Playoffs: 83%