What’s the best case scenario for every team in the National Football League? Many would say hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.
As obvious as this may seem, the reality is a championship isn’t an attainable goal for most NFL franchises. So the question remains, what is the best case scenario for those teams who don’t love their chances of winning the Super Bowl?
Well, that’s always going to be a sliding scale. A team like Cleveland would be ecstatic to even go .500, provided the young talent on the team shows some progress.
A classic management trope is that a “smart” goal is defined as being the following: Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Since we’re a Ravens centric website, the question arises, what would be a smart goal for Baltimore be in 2018?
If you ask Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton, chemistry between Joe Flacco and his new look receiving unit is something the purple and black should be striving for in the coming months:
“The Baltimore Ravens have revamped their receiving corps. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman, a 2015 first-rounder, may not have a spot on the 53-man roster, but the team got a much-needed makeover for the passing attack, which ranked 27th in yards and scored 20 touchdowns in 2017. Wideout Michael Crabtree, arguably the team’s biggest free-agent acquisition, compiled 25 touchdowns over the last three seasons. When targeted inside the 20-yard line, he’s a viable red-zone threat to finish off drives. The front office also added John Brown and Willie Snead IV; both players experienced their best year in 2015. The former logged 65 receptions for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns. The latter compiled 69 catches for 984 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Joe Flacco will also have two big-body targets in rookie tight ends Hayden Hurst (6’4”, 245 lbs), who’s expected to return from his fractured foots in three-to-four weeks, and Mark Andrews (6’5”, 256 lbs). The signal-caller’s progress with his new receivers could change the Ravens’ grind-it-out offensive identity to a more dynamic approach, which bodes well for their chances to knock the Pittsburgh Steelers off their AFC North perch.”
It’s hard to argue with Moton’s points here. The last two seasons have ended in disappointment for Baltimore in large part to the imbalance of their team.
If they had an offense that could consistently keep pace with their defensive output, they would’ve likely been at least a wild card team, especially last season. With Flacco on the same page with receivers Crabtree, Brown, Snead, and the young tight ends, they have a good chance of being postseason team in 2018.
Considering that Flacco grew healthier and more comfortable (and as such played better) in the second half of 2017, there’s reason to believe he’ll continue improving this year. That line of thinking is supported by his strong performances in training camp and the preseason these past few weeks.
Hopefully Flacco is able to keep that rolling into December. If so, Baltimore may just challenge for the division, as Moton suggests.