clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

ESPN Ranks Ravens future as 3rd best in AFC? Yeah, sure

New, comments
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

A look into the future is necessary for the Baltimore Ravens, with many things changing sooner rather than later. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are on the wrong side of thirty; Joe Flacco as well. Steve Smith Sr. is reportedly done after this year. Dennis Pitta is by far no certainty to produce at all. But through all these things, the Ravens have reloaded. Clearly ESPN doesn’t believe so, putting the Ravens 10th in their future NFL power rankings list, and 3rd in the AFC North.

ESPN believes Baltimore in the future has a worse QB outlook than:

35 year old Eli Manning:

I’m going full Kanye West folks.
ELI MANNING IS GOOD, BUT JOE FLACCO HAD THE BEST POSTSEASON OF ALL TIME!

Not to mention Eli is 35. I’m sorry, but Eli’s future is not better than a 31 year old Joe. Get outta here.
Other franchises that rank higher in the QB department according to ESPN:

  • Patriots: 38 year old Timmy? He’s clearly the benchmark for greatness, but Father Time is undefeated.
  • Steelers: Roethlisberger can’t finish a 16 game season, he’s 34, yet their QB ranking is higher? Oh keep up the jokes ESPN.
  • Redskins: The future of the Washington Redskins and Kirk Cousins are greater than the Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco. LOL.
  • Falcons: No shocker here, pundits still rank Matty Ice higher than Joe Cool.
  • Saints: The New Orleans Brees’ are ranked higher. I mean, I can’t completely blame them, he is the only reason that team wins any games. He could throw for 50 points and their defense still can’t get it together to salvage a win.
  • There are many more, but I’m not going to spend another 45 minutes getting angry over ESPN Rankings, at least not just this part.

Getting back to it, the Ravens are tenth. We’re sitting behind Cincy (7), and "top dog" Pittsburgh (4).

Pittsburgh Steelers:

We haven’t lost to Pittsburgh in over a year. We beat them with Ryan Mallett at quarterback. We beat them without Steve Smith, Justin Forsett, Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs, Eugene Monroe, Breshad Perriman . . . etc. But yet  Baltimore is third in the AFC North, six spots behind. Reading their "High Point" will help to add on.

"High point: The Steelers rarely make coaching changes, and Mike Tomlin is deserving of his long-standing tenure. He's all business on the sidelines, but he has the ability to keep things light with his players while maintaining control of the locker room. Tomlin came to the Steelers with a defensive background, but he's among the NFL's best at managing the entire operation of his team. -- Field Yates"

All business on the sidelines. . .

Apparently this is all business. Oh wait, he was past the sideline, no longer "all business". Touche.

Tomlin is a good coach, and I'll be on that side of the argument always, but let's not act like Head Coach John Harbaugh isn't beside him.

BOTTOM LINE:

Flacco's future is much brighter than Ben's, even post ACL surgery. Ben is 34, and missed four games in 2015. Without a true successor the Steelers could drop off hard. We saw what happens to Antonio Brown when they don't equip a good quarterback throwing in his direction.

Cincinnati Bengals:

Let me begin with the easy target of Andy Dalton. Oh wait, he's the reason I'm partially okay with the ranking. Andy Dalton is 28 years old, performed great last season (slightly over performed but nonetheless), and even with a weaker wide receiving unit this season, the red headed wonder still is throwing passes to A.J. "Ravenkiller" Green. For these reasons I cannot be furious with the grading. But that doesn't mean i'm happy about it.

The reason I don't agree here, is the same reason everybody else uses.

"How many more one-and-done postseasons will ownership tolerate before replacing Lewis? That question dwarfs all other future variables in Cincinnati. The Bengals have done a very good job building a playoff-caliber roster through the draft. They have expertly filled holes on their roster and coaching staff. But their last playoff victory came in 1990. Something has to give. -- Mike Sando"

BOTTOM LINE:

It's the truth, regardless of any other argument. This team has done everything in its power to be great, and yet they haven't won a single playoff matchup in the five straight postseason appearances. Last year was their pinnacle of success, at least in my mind, and yet Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones ruined everything.

Sando says this best, and his reasoning points towards the Bengals downfall. This team going 8-8 or worse is going to force management into a big decision on whether to keep their football philosophy or finally call it quits on Marvin Lewis. For goodness sake, George H. W. Bush was president during their last playoff win, if Marvin can't produce again this team will be forced to make the decision.

FINAL WORD:

Baltimore's future may not be number one, but the Pittsburgh Steelers being 4th in the NFL is criminal. We all know this league is QB fueled, and Big Ben showed even on a very small sack percentage (4.1%) he is still vulnerable. It doesn't get better with age.