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Add PFF to the list of Ravens doubters

Takeaways from Pro Football Focus’ AFC North preview

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Baltimore Ravens Rookie Camp Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Pro Football Focus has carved out a profitable niche in the football industry. While their analysis is not perfect, they must be doing something right if 27 NFL teams pay them for their data. In fact, their thorough player grading may be a significant factor in the apparent leveling of the playing field within the professional scouting community.

In addition to their informative website, PFF has joined the emerging podcast market, producing insightful broadcasts every week. Their latest installment focused on previewing the AFC North and AFC South divisions.

Analysts Steve Palazzolo, Sam Monson and Mike Renner are less than optimistic about the Baltimore Ravens chances to win the AFC North division in 2017. Highlights from their team preview:

Fortunately for the Ravens, outside expectations have no bearing on what transpires over the course of a 16-game NFL season. Every year, some teams outperform their perceived ceiling while others greatly disappoint. Still, it would be nice if respected evaluators occasionally believed Baltimore’s roster stacked up favorably against the competition.

These ‘experts’ go on to question whether Joe Flacco can elevate his play and state that the team’s offensive line will give them trouble, both reasonable critiques. However, they do seem to sell Baltimore’s defensive front short, which presents a legitimate cause for optimism among the fanbase. Hopefully John Harbaugh can tap into the Ravens historic underdog mentality to motivate his players on September 10th and beyond.