YOOOAdrian’s 2010 NFL Preview- Baltimore Ravens

The last 2 years, the Ravens have flown under the radar.  After a busy offseason, and 2 straight successful playoff appearances, the expectations are high in Baltimore.  Joe Flacco adds another year under his belt, it seems that they’ve found something in Ray Rice and they’ve signed some weapons for Flacco.  This team is no joke.

 Quarterbacks

 Joe Flacco- 315/499  63.1%  3,613 yds  21 td  12 int  88.9 rat

Arguably the toughest throw to make in football is the 15-18 yard out pattern.  Flacco makes it look routine.  With such a surrounding cast of weapons, he is ready for a breakout.  He has one of the strongest arms in the league to go along with very good accuracy.  He also has very nice touch on his deep balls.  Flacco is the real deal.

(Joe Flacco)

Others- Marc Bulger

Bulger at this point of his career is a very solid and experienced backup.

GRADE- 8

 Running Backs

 Ray Rice- 254 car  1,339 yds  5.3 avg  7 td  78 rec  702 yds  1 td

Rice reminds me a lot of Maurice Jones-Drew of Jacksonville.  He has thick legs, has good quickness, finishes runs and has more power than you might think.  He is fantastic out of the backfield, and will line up at the slot on occasion.

(Ray Rice)

Willis McGahee- 109 car  544 yds  5.0 avg  12 td  15 rec  85 yds  2 td

McGahee is a nice change of pace back.  He’s a power runner who can wear a defense down.

Others- Le’Ron McClain, Jalen Parmele

McClain didn’t get as many carries last year because people were healthy, but he was an effective blocker.

GRADE- 8.5

 Wide Receivers

 Anquan Boldin- 84 rec  1,024 yds  12.2 avg  4 td

 Boldin is an effective receiver underneath and creates after the catch.  He’s tough and not afraid to go over the middle.

Derrick Mason- 73 rec  1,028 yds  14.1 avg  7 td

Mason is just so reliable.  You just keep waiting for the season in which he breaks down, but he just doesn’t.  The reason why he continues to be so successful, his route running.

(Derrick Mason)

T.J. Houshmanzadeh- 79 rec  911 yds  11.5 avg  3 td

I thought I just wrote about this guy.  Wasn’t he just in Seattle?  Anyway, what a number 3!

TE- Todd Heap- 53 rec  593 yds  11.2 avg  6 td

He isn’t getting any younger or faster, but he can still run the seam.

Others- Donte Stallworth, David Reed, Marcus Smith

Stallworth is a vertical threat and a solid #4.

GRADE- 8

 Offensive Line

LT- Jared Gaither

Gaither is huge, he’s 6’9.  You just don’t get around this guy.

LG- Ben Grubbs

Grubbs is strong and athletic and quickly becoming one of the league’s best guards.

C- Matt Birk

Birk is still quick and smart and had a good 1st year in Baltimore.

RG- Marshall Yanda

Yanda played well late and took the job away from Chris Chester.

RT- Michael Oher

For now, he’s at right tackle, but he’ll be on the left protecting the quarterback’s blind side for years to come.

(Michael Oher)

GRADE- 8.75

 Defensive Line

LDE- Cory Redding- 20 tck  2 sck

Redding is quick, strong and plays hard.

NT- Kelly Gregg- 63 tck  3 sck 

Gregg is a hard worker and knows how to play with leverage.

RDE- Haloti Ngata- 35 tck  1.5 sck  1 p def  1 ff

His statistics may not show it, but Ngata single-handedly controls the opponents running game.  He is one of the strongest players in the game, and is very quick for his size.

(Haloti Ngata)

Others- Trevor Pryce, Terrence Cody

Cody is the nose tackle of the future.  He’s huge, has long arms, but needs to watch his weight.

Pryce still has pass rush ability, but he’s 35.

GRADE- 8.5

 Linebackers

LOLB- Jarrett Johnson- 50 tck  6 sck  2 int  4 p def  1 ff

Johnson is a converted defensive end who has fit in as a 3-4 OLB beautifully.

LILB- Ray Lewis- 134 tck  3 sck  7 p def  2 ff

Lewis is 35 and still up there with the best inside linebackers.  He still runs well for his age and still has those fantastic instincts.

RILB- Dannell Ellerbe- 41 tck  1 int  1 p def

Ellerbe took the inside linebacking job away from Tavares Gooden who has struggled with injuries.

ROLB- Terrell Suggs- 59 tck  4.5 sck  5 p def  1 ff

Suggs, if he can stay healthy, has the potential to become a complete edge rusher.

(Terrell Suggs)

Others- Tavares Gooden, Sergio Kindle

Kindle fell into the 2nd round, and Baltimore snatches him.  He’s athletic, explosive and has potential to blossom.

GRADE- 8.5

 Secondary

 LCB- Chris Carr- 44 tck  2 int  4 p def  1.5 sck  2 ff

The secondary has been decimated by injury, and now Chris Carr becomes the number 1 corner.  That should say something here.

RCB- Fabian Washington- 36 tck  6 p def

Washington comes off knee surgery.  He needs to stay healthy.  He has great speed.

CB- LaDarius Webb- 35 tck  6 p def  1 sck

Webb had a solid rookie season.  He’s fast and physical.

FS- Ed Reed- 50 tck  3 int  5 p def  3 ff

Ed Reed is out the 1st 6 games of the season due to a hip injury.  When healthy, Reed is the best safety in the game.  He is a ballhawk.  He reads the quarterback and breaks quickly on the football.

(Ed Reed)

SS- Dawan Landry89 tck  4 int  8 p def  1 ff

Landry is a versatile safety.  He’s a solid tackler in the box and solid in coverage.

GRADE- 7.25

 Special Teams

PK- Billy Cundiff- 18/23 46 lg

Steve Hauschka was a disaster.  Cundiff isn’t much better.

P- Sam Koch- 73 punts  43.7 avg  26 in 20  60 lg

Koch is above average with a solid leg.

KR- LaDarius Webb- 35 ret  26.2 avg  95 lg  1 td

Jalen Parmele is another option on kickoffs, especially with the lack of depth at corner.

PR- Chris Carr- 32 ret  8.2 avg  34 lg

Solid, not much to say.

GRADE- 6.5

 2010 PREDICTION- 12-4

Even without Reed for 6 weeks, this offense is good enough to win games now.  They don’t have to rely on the defense as much anymore.  I’ve always been a Flacco fan, and have always liked him as a starting quarterback.

Offensive MVP- Ray Rice

Defensive MVP- Haloti Ngata

Breakthrough- Joe Flacco

Overrated- Anquan Boldin

Underrated- Joe Flacco

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