Baltimore Ravens Expectations Tainted By 5-11 Year
The Baltimore Ravens Expectations Are Shaped By Their Previous Season
Are we counting the Ravens out? When I look around the sports media, I see a pessimistic opinion of the Baltimore Ravens. Many think that the best case scenario for the Ravens is a sobering 8-8 finish. The Ravens critics point to key players coming off brutal injuries. They see a lot of dangerous “what if’s.” The negative view of the Ravens 2016 chances follows an easy logic.
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After all, this is a “What have you done for me lately,” kind of world. What the Ravens have done lately is go 5-11. Even worse the Ravens stumble was in a season in which they were a sexy pick to win it all. Now the Ravens stock is falling and public opinion just isn’t buying it.
But imagine a different situation. Look at the Ravens offseason. Add up all the free agency acquisitions, look at the draft. Look at the roster fully. Are the low expectations based on how they will go into the 2016 season or how they walked out of the last one?
The Ravens were not supposed to do much in 2008. They had just come off a 5-11 season. Injuries were a major factor. The Ravens entered 2008 with a rookie quarterback and a first time head coach. John Harbaugh was taking a big step up from special teams coordinator, to head coach of Baltimore’s beloved football team.
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The 2008 Ravens went to the AFC Championship game after an 11-5 season. They won two playoff games on the road before falling short of the Super Bowl. The Ravens defied expectations. But those expectations were only placed on the Ravens because of the previous season.
Now the Ravens have an identical situation, only Harbaugh and Joe Flacco have eight years under their belt. Last year everything went wrong all at once. By the time the Ravens figured half of it out, the season was lost. The same thing happened in 2007.
The point is that the Ravens pushed the New England Patriots close to the edge in the 2014 playoffs. It’s much like the 2006 Ravens having 13 wins. After the 2006 season the Ravens were expected to shine in 2007. After the 2014 season, it felt like the Ravens would march right back to the playoffs.
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The point is simple. The Ravens do have some things to worry about; but the low expectations are based more on their 5-11 season than their actual situation. There are a lot of “what ifs” hanging over the Ravens. But the Ravens spent the offseason building a roster for most of the possible contingencies. The Ravens roster is not completely bad luck proof. However it is much better than it was last season.