The Baltimore Ravens defense expects to do big things. Today we look at the ceiling and the floor for the Ravens defensive efforts:
The 2017 season saw the Ravens defense rank 6th in points allowed per game, 12th in Yards allowed per game, and 11th in Sacks per game. All in all, it was a successful season for them, although (not to break anybody’s hearts) the defense did essentially cost them a playoff spot on the last defensive snap of the season. The year that saw the defense be the strength of the team, ended in the worst way imaginable.
Outside of the heart breaking 4th & 12 play against Cincinnati, the Ravens defense played well throughout the 2017 season, despite losing CB Jimmy Smith for the last 4 weeks of the season. Marlon Humphrey added some excitement as a rookie cornerback. He fits the mold of a first round selection. Going into the season, the secondary is supposed to be a strength for the purple and black. The front seven already had a lot of things figured out. Terrell Suggs and Matt Judon were a capable duo at outside linebacker and C.J. Mosley had a Pro Bowl season.
2018’s defensive expectations should be higher for Baltimore. There is much to improve on and plenty of space to grow. You will see that the best case scenario is amazing and the worst case scenario doesn’t seem that bad. Here are my Ceiling and Floor predictions for the Ravens defense in 2018. Let’s break it all down.
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Exceptional, Formidable. One of, if not the best defense in the league. They have the talent and depth for this to be the case, and there are a few reasons why this ceiling is more than realistic.
When looking at the Ravens Defense, they really have every box checked. Interior Defensive Line to stop the run, Outside Linebackers to rush the passer, Inside Linebackers to roam the field, Corners to play man or zone, and Safeties to come down in the run game or roam the top and play center field. Not only do they have every box checked – but it’s checked with Pro Bowl talent as well.
The Ravens have always done a great job of drafting and developing defensive talent, and that seems to be continuing this year both in the Pass Rush department and on the back end in the Secondary.
Player development means production:
The development of their young players like Matt Judon, Marlon Humprhey, and Patrick Onwuasor will only strengthen the team with the more live snaps that they get under their belt. They can start the transition from “Young Talent” to “NFL Star”, and make a bigger impact than they already have. That young depth, especially in the Pass Rush area, will do nothing but help veterans like Terrell Suggs as well. Having effective young pass rushers can take the load off of Suggs. This will allow him to not feel the need to make every important play for the Ravens.
Not only do the Ravens have a youth infused roster but they also have a boatload of depth on defense as well. They have Pro Bowlers at every level of their Defense. They have young talent backing up the veterans, or even playing along side them in some cases. The play-making ability of said young talent will determine what kind of season the Ravens have.
In 2018 I would expect the Ravens to be clicking on all cylinders defensively, especially around the middle part of the season. Once the players and new DC Don Martindale find their “happy ground” in terms of what plays to call, expect the defense to really take off.