MIAMI DOLPHINS – Week 5 – Sunday, October 3rd – Sun Life Field
In Week 5, the Ravens will head down to their nicest road game of the year. The Ravens should be treated with great weather and will certainly have a lot of the purple and black backing them in the stands. The Dolphins have made some meaningful yet risky upgrades in the offseason. Unfortunately for them, that has not been their off-season story. Their owner has been mired in a stadium debacle that left him threatening to leave Miami as taxpayers from all over the state are not keen on making sure the Dolphins have new digs in Miami. Anyway, marque free agents and a promising second year QB could make for a very successful 2013.
Biggest Addition: Mike Wallace will be donning the teal and orange for the next few years. Ryan Tannehill hopes that he can be the marque receiver that he so dearly missing last year. Wallace’s presence on the field should help Tannehill’s development, as he did not have any weapons last year.
Biggest Loss: Jake Long could be a premier left tackle in the league. He has now moved on to play with his brother in St. Louis. The Dolphins have to hope that Jonathan Martin or Jeff Adams is able to do the job.
Rookie To Watch For: Dion Jordan was the first defensive player off the board in the 2013 NFL Draft. Many thought that the Dolphins reached pretty far for Jordan and he did not fit their immediate needs, but he has a high ceiling and could be a premier pass rusher in the NFL.
GREEN BAY PACKERS – Week 6 – Sunday October 13th – M&T Bank Stadium
In Week 6, the Ravens will welcome in Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Aside from his first year starting, the Packers have been perennial contenders with Rodgers. The main questions remains: will their defense be able to keep up?
Biggest Addition: Their biggest off season addition is 5 more years of Clay Matthews. Matthews reacks more havoc then just about anyone on defense and the Packers have been able to extend his contract for another 5 years, thus keeping the core of their defense together. The question is, can they find some role players to strengthen it.
Biggest Loss: Greg Jennings is no longer a cheese head. He will be taking the short trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota to be a Viking. This will be a big loss for the Pack if Jennings can stay healthy, which he was unable to do in Green Bay.
Rookie To Watch Out For: Eddie Lacy looked like Earl Campbell in the National Championship, helping to plummet the stock of Manti Te’o out of the first round. I thought this was an outstanding pick for the Packers, who needed a running back. He follows in the footsteps of Trent Richardson and could make a similar impact in his first season, if they can commit some of their plays to the run.
In the next installment, we will take a look at the Ravens’ Week 7 and 9 opponents – the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns.