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Ravens: The Long Road Ahead (Part 2)

Lets take a look at the Baltimore Ravens' opponents in weeks five through eight:

The Denver Broncos are in a crucial 2nd year under head coach Josh McDaniels and they will look to avenge last year's 30 - 7 smackdown by the Ravens. But like last year, they will be playing in our house. Kyle Orton is still their #1 QB, unless they believe that the dapper Quinn or Tim "totally awesome" Tebow can save the day? Next on the menu, Gillette Stadium and the New England Patriots. You think they forget games easily? They have been looking forward to this game ever since they got it handed to them by Ray Rice in last year's playoff game there. Although, would you put an extra guy in the box with "Q" and Mason on either side? After that the Buffalo Bills come to town with a carefully construed  plan. We'll talk about that later. Then it's the Dolphins making an appearance and they will bring with them new toy Brandon Marshall. Trap game?

Remember, I haven't included rookies in this, because they don't have one second of NFL experience and that can change everything. JaMarcus Russell anyone? Kyle Boller?

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Game 5: vs Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 10th @ 1:00 pm

Out: Brandon Marshall WR, Tony Scheffler TE, Ben Hamilton G, Casey Wiegmann C, Andra Davis LB
In: Justin Bannan DT, Brady Quinn QB, Jarvis Green DE, Jamal Williams DT

My take:
Head coach Josh McDaniels further implemented his "I think I can do what Bill Belichick can do" plan by erasing zone-blocking with power-blocking this year after last year's switch to East Coast offense and a 3-4 defense. The Broncos still have quality players in many positions and therefor have a chance to hang with the big dogs, but their quarterback ain't one. And why draft Tim Tebow? Just like last year's disappointing 8-8 finish, the Denver Broncos will be left scratching their head wondering what went wrong this time. The Ravens are going to crush them.

Game 6: @ New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 17th @ 1:00 pm

Out: Jarvis Green DE, Adalius Thomas LB
In: Alge Crumpler TE, Torry Holt WR

My take:
Whatever the Ravens did against the Broncos, they'll have to do it again, only better. Tom Brady is not likely to be embarrassed again in his own house. There are significant changes to this team outside of the above mentioned five. They had a good draft, but it is a wait and see game. They did sign Mike Teel for a total of 20 days, obviously to put pressure on Tom Brady to perform this year. In all seriousness, no matter what the Patriots do, Bill Belichick will have them properly prepared and the Ravens will need to make the necessary adjustments. This could be a tough one in Gillette Stadium, but I have faith in the Ravens. They have reached an elite level and will actually give the Patriots a run for their money. Could be a TD or FG in the final minutes to win it.

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Game 7: vs Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Oct. 24th @ 1:00 pm

Out: Terrell Owens WR
In: 
Cornell Green OT, Andra Davis LB, Dwan Edwards

My take:
Okay, so their plan doesn't consist of much, except signing former Raven Dwan Edwards. Nobody is really going to cry about him here in Baltimore, but for Buffalo it is pretty much the biggest off season signing so far. Another off season where the Bills are stirring the waters, but not creating any waves. I fully expect the Bills to get man handled, smacked around like a step child and left behind like a heathen. This one is not even going to be close. Get your popcorn ready, it's the Joe and Ray show.

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WEEK 7: BYE WEEK

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Game 8: vs Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Nov. 7th @ 1:00 pm

Out: Jason Taylor LB, Joey Porter LB, Mike Nolan DC, Zach Thomas LB
In: Brandon Marshall WR, Karlos Dansby LB, Zach Thomas LB

My take: 
Apparently there is a lot of excitement about the Miami Dolphins. Problem is that its coming from Miami. The best player in Miami? LeBron James. I can see this as a potential trap game, because as dominant as the Ravens will be, there is always that one game where nothing seems to be figured out. Granted we beat the snot out of Chad Pennington, but with Chad Henne, they're a different beast that can come at you many different ways and with the addition of Brandon Marshall their offensive threat level is now at orange. Look for the Ravens coming in a bit too confident after punishing the Bills for existing.

Overall thoughts:

It is obvious things are getting a bit more competitive in this second quarter. Barring any injuries on the Ravens end, I still believe they could have problems with both New England and Miami, but only lose one of them. The Ravens are definitely going to give teams fits with their improved defensive line, allowing more room for rushing linebackers to rain down on quarterbacks. The Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos pose no real threat since they hardly improved their squad, while the Ravens seem ready to take on anyone on their road to the Lombardi Trophy. After 8 games the Ravens should be 6-2. The rest of the season looks really good for the Ravens as their real threats are a game against Pittsburgh (in Baltimore) and New Orleans (also in Baltimore).

 

(This article was written by Arjan @ BmoreFan)

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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