3 big what ifs that could derail the Baltimore Ravens season

There are assumptions about the new offense, and a few pieces on the defense that could still go poorly
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Roquan Smith, Baltimore Ravens
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1. What if the Roquan Smith dominance was small sample size against bad teams?

You have already seen the stats, and you know them. When Roquan Smith was traded to the Baltimore Ravens, their defense went from an average unit to one of the best in the NFL. It was like a light switch with how fast the change was.

While Smith certainly had something to do with it, and the defense was going to trend better anyway, there also could be some noise in that. In the last stretch of the season, the Ravens played Russell Wilson, Mitch Trubisky, DeShaun Watson, Desmond Ridder, and Kenny Pickett. Yes, they did play Joe Burrow twice and looked good, but they also lost both games, although week 18 was meaningless.

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Still, when you add in that week 18 was meaningless, they ended the season with six easy games that could boost the stats of any defense. So, yes, the Ravens' defense is good, and so is Roquan Smith. However, there is the chance that the difference we saw is a bit overvalued because of the opponent. What if the Ravens' defense is just good next season, and what if Roquan Smith is not that All-Pro candidate who changes the game? Are they still Super Bowl contenders?

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