The Bottom Line:
Baltimore needed to see a competitive team this year. Rebuilding year is kind of a curse word in the NFL. Nobody wants to think that they are going for anything less than a Super Bowl ring. Even if the Ravens ended up getting into the playoffs, it’s hard to see them sustain enough success to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. They won their first three, lost their next four. Every time this team takes a step forward they take another step or two back.
This is a sign of a team that is not quite to the contender status. The Ravens went 5-11 last season. To keep moving forward, we needed to see the Ravens play competitive football. We needed the purple and black to be in the hunt for the playoffs and to make the season seem meaningful. To me, the Ravens have accomplished this. Harbaugh should remain the coach, Flacco should remain the quarterback and we should see what happens.
The purple and black need play-makers, a deeper and better offensive line, an offensive coordinator that can make it work and just a pinch more defensively. Most of these needs can be taken care of with a good draft class and NFL Free Agency. The 2016 Ravens are not a bad team, but the 2017 Ravens could be a much better team.