The combination of the Terrell Suggs injury, the continued aging of the defense and that same lack of confidence in QB Joe Flacco, has critics doubting the abilities of the Baltimore Ravens to repeat as AFC North Champs in 2012. The team won it's first division crown since 2006 and now face a tougher first-place schedule, as well as improving teams within its own division.
The loss of Suggs takes away perhaps the Ravens best defensive player and a lot of big statistics along with him. Who will fill his shoes remains to be seen.The continued aging of veteran Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are an annual topic of conversation around the league.
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The same conversations on the Ravens usually include the questioning of whether Flacco is up to carry the team when the run game is not effective or the team needs to come from behind. He proved he can do that last year and was by far the better QB on the field in the AFC Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots. Yet, still the questions remain.
Stories on other sites also doubt this combination of questions along with the first-place schedule the team will play in 2012 all add up to a regression in results. The Pigskin Report sees the Ravens faltering as well as the Cincinnati Bengals now a legitimate part of what they consider a three-team race for the AFC North crown, which includes the always-tough Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Cat Cave seems to agree but also does not discount the fact that Terrell Suggs could return in time to energize the team towards the post-season once again.
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