The 2017 Baltimore Ravens are a new look team. The 8-8 squad that came short of the playoffs are no more. Whatever the 2017 Ravens are going to do, this team looks very different.
Through the 2017 NFL Draft and free agency, the Baltimore Ravens added over 10 players with a real chance at becoming starters. Baltimore lost Steve Smith Sr., Kyle Juszczyk, Rick Wagner and Kamar Aiken this offseason. Dennis Pitta was released after an injury. The moral of the story is that the Ravens went through a lot of turnover this offseason. Basing expectations off of last year’s performance is a silly practice.
The Ravens secondary looks completely different. The front seven got an epic boost, despite losing a top tier linebacker in Zach Orr. Joe Flacco got some players to throw the football to in Danny Woodhead and Jeremy Maclin. In so many ways, the Ravens roster is transformed from what it was this time last year.
The Ravens roster may be a stark contrast to the one they employed last year but this feels like a vintage Baltimore football team. Tough football, highlighted by a potentially great defense. Imagine the 2003 Ravens with Joe Flacco instead of Kyle Boller, and you have a fairly good idea about what 2017 will be like.
Even with an improved Breshad Perriman and Maclin coming to Baltimore, the Ravens game won’t be flashy. The Ravens are primed to win a lot of games the ugly way. The offensive attack will revolve around the run, and wear down opposing defenses. The defense will limit chances for their opponents to score. The Ravens should get many of their wins in a 24-10 kind of fashion.
The Bottom Line:
If the purple and black are going to go for style points, it’s going to come on defense. With an improved secondary and an improved pass rush, this should lead to more sacks, fumbles and interceptions. Terrell Suggs had eight sacks playing hurt; can you imagine what he can do with a full salte of health and a better defense around him?
The Ravens are going to have a lot of new players making huge contributions. They are going to be much better than they were a year ago. However, the Ravens are going to have a familiar feel to them. You have to give Ozzie Newsome some credit. He built a team that resembled teams he has won with before.