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Contender or Pretender: Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off an NFL best 14-2 season in which their 2nd year QB Lamar Jackson took over the league on his way to his first MVP award. An offseason that offered only one major loss to the team in guard Marshall Yanda retiring, the squad added much more than was subtracted. The big offseason get was the trade for DE Calais Campbell. One of the few weaknesses this team showed during last season was ironically against the run. Allowing 4.4 YPC last season, the Ravens made sure to try and eliminate any possible weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball with a slam dunk draft. The Ravens drafted who many analysts consider the top LB in Patrick Queen at 28 was great value and filled a need that has been there since CJ Moseley’s departure. Having one of the strongest drafts in the league, the Ravens may have helped sustain their success a bit longer so long as their rookies show signs and produce early on. 

After discussing the internal adjustments to a 14-2 squad, it is time to focus on the possible issues outside of the organization. The AFC North had itself an active offseason, as all 4 squads addressed major needs through the draft and free agency. The Bengals added a Franchise QB to help stabilize the organization and hopefully lead it back to the playoffs. The Steelers defense remains intact while the offense is gaining Ben Roethlisberger back (he’s better than Rudolph and Hodges) and the Browns finally gave Baker Mayfield the protection he needs to develop with his vast weapons. Despite this, the rich got richer this offseason with the Ravens appearing to be a top 3 team in terms of talent on paper. They made several smart moves to bolster its roster and increase its chances to win the Super Bowl in the process. The Baltimore Ravens are easily Super Bowl contenders.

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