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The Baltimore Ravens are treading in unchartered waters heading into the 2018 season. They missed the playoffs last year for the third consecutive season, the longest streak of non-postseason football since the team arrived in Baltimore for the 1996 campaign and went four years without a playoff game until winning a Super Bowl title following the 2000 season. It’s also a critical year for John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco, the coach-quarterback tandem that has been driving the team since 2008. The Ravens rely on a stingy defense, but they need more from Flacco to reach the postseason in 2018.
2018 Baltimore Ravens at a Glance
Ravens Super Bowl Odds: +4800
Ravens AFC Championship Odds: +2000
Ravens AFC North Odds: +350
Ravens Regular Season Win Total: 8
The Ravens addressed important needs during the offseason in hopes of improving on their 29th ranked pass offense. They certainly appear to be better entering the 2018 season than they did at the end of last year. And even that wasn’t bad. They finished 9-7 and missed out on a postseason slot by losing tie-breakers to Tennessee and Buffalo.
For the first time since his rookie season, Flacco averaged less than 200 passing yards per game and his 5.7 yards per pass attempt were the lowest of his career. And it’s not like the Ravens had a monster run game to lean on, so the offense was a big problem. Flacco is 33-years-old now and with Lamar Jackson drafted in the first-round there could temptation to let the rookie run the show. However, the Ravens loaded up at receiver with the addition of Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown to give their quarterback weapons he didn’t have last season.
Going back to the days of Ray Lewis, the Ravens have always been about defense. While the offense struggled last season, the D ranked sixth in points allowed and placed in the top half in rushing, passing and total defense. And there’s no reason to think that’s going to change in 2018. The secondary could be one of the best with Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey manning the corners. The pair combined for five of Baltimore’s NFL-high 22 picks while the group forced 34 turnovers, also the best in the league. Terrell Suggs enters his 15th year in the league, but he still commands respect from his linebacker spot. If the defense continues to do what it does under new coordinator Don Martindale, and the offense finds a spark with new acquisitions, they Ravens will not only break their postseason drought, they may contend for the AFC North title.
2018 Baltimore Ravens Schedule
Week 1: Ravens vs. Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sep. 9, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Week 2: Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sep. 13, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFLN)
Week 3: Ravens vs. Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sep. 23, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Week 4: Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Sep. 30, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Week 5: Ravens at Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 7, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Week 6: Ravens at Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 14, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Week 7: Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 21, 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX)
Week 8: Ravens at Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 28, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Week 9: Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Nov. 4, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Week 12: Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders, Sunday, Nov. 25, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Week 13: Ravens at Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 2, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Week 14: Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 9, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Week 15: Ravens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Week 16: Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers, Saturday/Sunday, Dec. 22-23, TBA (TBA)
Week 17: Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 30, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Past Baltimore Ravens Seasons
|2014||10-6||Lost Divisional Round|
|2012||10-6||Won Super Bowl|
|2011||12-4||Lost Conference Championship|
|2010||12-4||Lost Divisional Round|
|2009||9-7||Lost Divisional Round|
|2008||11-5||Lost Conference Championship|
|2006||13-3||Lost Divisional Round|
|2003||10-6||Lost Wild Card|
|2001||10-6||Lost Divisional Round|
|2000||12-4||Won Super Bowl|
It was one of the more controversial moves in NFL history when team owner Art Modell moved his club to Baltimore for the 1996 season. In a deal reached with the city of Cleveland and the NFL, the entire Browns history would remain in Cleveland and the new Baltimore team would essentially be an expansion club, though team personnel would make the move.
There were some lean years following the team’s move as the Ravens went four years without a winning record or playoff appearance, but that all changed in 2000 under second-year head coach Brian Billick. Sporting the league’s No. 1 ranked scoring defense, the Ravens won 12 games and all four postseason contests by outscoring opponents 95-23. The season culminated with a 34-7 victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.
Including the 2000 season the Ravens have qualified for the playoffs 10 times, finished with a winning record 12 times and won the AFC North on four occasions. They captured their second Super Bowl title following the 2012 season with a win over San Francisco, making the Ravens the only team with multiple Super Bowl appearances to go undefeated.
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