Thursday, August 18, 2005
The Baltimore Ravens aka "Chris Benoit"
"The Rabid Wolverine" Chris Benoit is my favorite wrestler. He's relentless and merciless. Win or lose, Benoit will administer a thorough beat down on his opponent. I can't think of a better comparison for the Baltimore Ravens. These guys are brutal. Whenever I watch a Ravens game on TV, I find myself feeling sorry for the opposing offense. Ray Lewis just annihilates running backs and wide receivers. The hitting is malicious. I just keeping thinking of how many beatings Eddie George took against this defense. Despite being so vicious on defense, the Ravens haven't been successful in the win column because the offense was so much weaker than the defense. However, things will change this year. The Ravens are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They stole Derek Mason from Tennessee. They drafted Mark Clayton in the first round. Jamal Lewis is a punishing running back who no longer has to worry about Boggs or the Sisters from Shawshank. The Offensive Line is huge. Todd Heap is one of the three best tight ends in the NFL. Even if Kyle Boller doesn't improve at all, the Ravens will be noticeably better on offense. There's no question in my mind that this offense is better than Super Bowl winning team in 2000. In fact, I think the whole team is better than the Super Bowl team.
As if the defense wasn't good enough, the Ravens hijacked Samari Rolle from the Titans. If the Ravens end up winning the Super Bowl this year, I think it's only fair that the Titans get rings too. The Ravens got Mason and Rolle for nothing. As soon as Tennessee cut those two loose, I immediately thought that some team should sign both of those guys. The Ravens did and the rest of the NFL will pay the price. They also drafted Dan Cody in the second round. Cody is a pass rushing menace in the mold of Grant Wistrom. They also brought in Tommy Polley from the Rams. Terrel Suggs is one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. The defensive backfield is arguably the best in NFL history. They line up Chris McCallister, Samari Rolle, and Ed Reed with Deion Sanders and Dale Carter coming off the bench. Teams are going to get punished this year.
The schedule is pretty tough with Indianapolis, NY Jets, Detroit, Pittsburgh (2), Jacksonville, Green Bay, Minnesota, and Denver. If I had to put my money on someone in the AFC central, I'd take Pittsburgh because Roethlisberger and Hines Ward are a little better than Kyle Boller and Derrick Mason.
Predicted record: 10-6