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Baltimore Ravens place 9th in the AFC in ESPN's 2016 Way-Too-Early Power Rankings

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The Ravens placed 16th overall, so the voters didn't give the team any leeway for injuries and close losses...

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason has officially started, and now it is time for the Baltimore Ravens to get to work. The roster is not championship caliber, so Ozzie Newsome and Eric Decosta have their work cut out for them. Some feel this team is a few moves away from contention, while others feel the team needs a year to reload and won't be much of a factor in 2016.

ESPN has come out with their 2016 Way-Too-Early Power Rankings, and it is clear the voters did not have high expectations for the Ravens, placing them 16th in the league, and 9th in the AFC despite many close losses in 2015 and very bad luck with injuries and officiating. The Ravens placed 9th in the AFC, behind (in order) New England, Denver, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Indianapolis, New York, and Houston.

16. Baltimore Ravens

2015 record: 5-11
Voting results: 351 points

Why they're here: Voters didn't completely forget that Baltimore won just five games, but they also didn't forget that this is a John Harbaugh-coached team that was simply decimated by injuries in 2015 and will have Joe Flacco back for training camp.

What could change: Ozzie Newsome could be shopping (and drafting) secondary help after the Ravens picked off just six passes in 2015, a shockingly low figure even in an era when INTs are down. Not only is Flacco back the wide receiving corps could look much different than the way they did in Week 17, as 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman will finally debut and Steve Smith, Sr. has vowed to be back as well, though he'll be coming back from an Achilles tear at age 37.

The team will bring back Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs, Justin Forsett, Breshad Perriman, and Steve Smith Sr. from injury, not to mention their highest draft slot since Jamal Lewis in 2000. The team has some holes to fill, at CB, OLB, S, and possibly OL depending on how free agency goes. But Ozzie Newsome has not had a team with losing records in back to back years since 1998, over 15 years ago. Each time the team had a losing season, they came away with a premium player in the next draft: Terrell Suggs (2003), Haloti Ngata (2006), and Joe Flacco (2008), and was able to win playoff games the following year in 2 out of 3 instances.

So betting against Ozzie, Harbaugh, and Joe Flacco is not something I would do right now. This ranking will be laughable once the 2016 season starts, that is something would be willing to bet on.