Baltimore Ravens 2015 Season Preview and Predictions

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Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive end Haloti Ngata (92) knocks the ball away from Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

TE Owen Daniels (free agent, signed with Broncos), WR Jacoby Jones (free agent, signed with Chargers), OLB Pernell McPhee (free agent, signed with Bears), DT Haloti Ngata (traded to Lions), WR Torrey Smith (free agent, signed with 49ers), Darian Stewart (free agent, signed with Broncos), QB Tyrod Taylor (free agent, signed with Bills)

The Ravens suffered some incredible losses in free agency over the 2014 offseason, including four starters, their punt/kick returner, a key pass rusher, and their #2 quarterback.  It’s hard for any team to overcome losses like that, even a team that has proven to be adept at doing so.

Daniels was the starter at tight end in 2014, but he wasn’t particularly effective.  A sure set of hands with limited athleticism, the Ravens aren’t losing out on much by letting him walk in free agency.  The same can be said for Darian Stewart, who was OK but not spectacular at safety last season.

Jun 11, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) during minicamp at Levi

The Ravens are confident enough in sophomore Timmy Jernigan that they unloaded franchise legend Haloti Ngata, and the drop off won’t be bad if Jernigan stays healthy this season.  The same can be said of Torrey Smith, who scored 11 touchdowns in 2014 but was otherwise a disappointment.  Perriman has more upside at this point.

Losing Pernell McPhee leaves an obvious void without an obvious replacement.  McPhee broke out in 2014 as a situational pass rusher, and was one of the more effective rushing ‘backers in the NFL.  The Ravens are going to need one of Courtney Upshaw/Za’Darius Smith to step up.

Aug 13, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers players Darrell Stuckey (25) and Jacoby Jones (12) run on to the field through a procession of flames before the NFL preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jacoby Jones’ departure leaves a similar void for the punt/kick returner job.  The Ravens have Michael Campanaro to fill that role, but he has struggled to stay healthy.  Losing Taylor isn’t a big deal as long as Joe Flacco stays healthy.  Like most teams, the Ravens’ hopes rest on the arm of their starting QB.

Next: Predictions analysis

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