Those who keep up with the Baltimore Ravens are aware of the speculation in regards to whether we will be able to handle all of our offseason losses. I for one am growing weary of all these stories. It is almost as if everyone has forgotten that we were one botched catch away from making the Super Bowl. Some have even gone as far as to say we will not even make the playoffs this year. Yes, I know. Blasphemous isn't it? With all this talk of why we should have good reason to be "doubting the Ravens in 2012" I decided it was time to end all of this speculation.
The loss of T-Sizzle and Ben Grubbs is undoubtedly a blow to our team, but a big enough blow for us to miss out on the Playoffs? Doubt it. The young talent and depth on this team is highly underrated. So until either Joe Flacco or Haloti Ngata goes down with an injury I wont lose too much sleep. Why? On offense every player can be essentially replaced with 'the next man up' other than our starting quarterback. Flacco goes down and our season is over. Plain and simple. On the defensive side of the ball everything starts in the trenches. Ngata opens up so many opportunities for his teammates it really is a shame he doesn't get more credit. With all that said here are my top 3 reasons on why the Ravens wont skip a beat, even without T-Sizzle and Grubbs.
3. Accountability- There is no doubt we have one of the most mentally tough teams in the NFL. They proved that with their great play on defense even with the absence of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. This team expects every player to be ready to step up and play, no slack on anyone's part is excepted. This means you have to be mentally tough enough to come in on the fly in the event that a player goes down to an injury. I think that is one of the beautiful things about this team, everyone is held accountable and they wouldn't have it any other way.
2. Young Talent On Defense- In the midst of all this drama with Suggs getting injured I think some people have forgotten about some of the young talent around him. Players like Jimmy Smith, Pernell McPhee and Terrence Cody. All are poised to step up their game and have breakout seasons. Their increase in production will help mask the loss of Suggs. That and along with Ngata's love of spending time in the opponent's backfield will alleviate some of the pressure on Courtney Upshaw and Paul Kruger.
1. Continuity on Offense- Yes Grubbs is out but the signing of Bobbie Williams was a smart and timely move by Ozzie. If he can hold up for the season I see big things for this offense in 2012. Torrey Smith, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta are some of the biggest names you want to watch. Despite having virtually no offseason and playing a lot of the season with a double sport's hernia Smith still managed to pull in 50 receptions for 841 yards and 7 touchdowns. Add that and his increasing chemistry with Joe Flacco and you are looking at a potentially dangerous QB, WR tandem. Pitta and Dickson are young talented tight ends who combined for 94 catches 933 yards and 8 touchdowns. Expect us to utilize a lot of 3 wide and double tight end sets this season.