Even though the Ravens did not make the playoffs, and the Seahawks are not even in the AFC, there is an important aspect to look at.
Let me talk about the Seahawks for a bit, and yes, I will get back to the real birds of the NFL in a moment.
I wanted the Seahawks to win because of their defense. I am a Ravens’ fan, so I like defense, Seattle’s was unquestionably the best in the league.
The Seahawks won the Super Bowl with an average team age of just 26.4 years old. Their defensive age average for their starters was also just 26.4.
What I have not seen talked about are their four defensive linemen who averaged 29.75 years of age. Why is this important?
The Ravens’ defensive starters averaged 28.4 years old, with only two players who were either 25 or younger on the defense. The Seahawks’ had six players under 25 years old.
I mentioned the defensive linemen of the Seahawks, because their young players are focused at linebacker and their secondary. They still have an older, experienced front to maintain a good balance.
The Seahawks are fantastically coached, but there are some things the Ravens should notice before heading to the draft and free agency.
Though I cannot say as someone who has interviewed Head Coach John Harbaugh, or any HC, but I would think it is a questionable thing to start going younger — with players who are less experienced, even with two, three years under their belts.
Whatever it may be, I believe the Ravens need to start a transition to becoming a younger defense. The age factor is not something they will be able to overcome as the seasons come and go.
The age factor will become more and more difficult to overcome. And I am sure the Ravens are aware of this.
The Seahawks prove that a bunch of young players and outcasts (those undrafted and essentially unwanted) can come together under great coaching to shock the world.
If you do not believe me, review their season. It was not just a one-game fluke, but an entire season of young players playing great together.
They have an experienced defensive line to lead the way, which I believe the Ravens should hold onto.
The Seahawks’ defensive line averages about eight years of experience, while the Ravens average seven among the three defensive line starters, and when Terrence Cody comes into play, the experience average lowers.
The pressure up front is something the Ravens should be careful about experimenting with in regards to age. Without a strong defensive line, the younger players cannot play well, which the Seahawks demonstrated really well.
I believe the Ravens need to start going younger on their own, before injuries and other things force them to go younger.
There has seemed to be a gradual thing happening. Elam was drafted and was put in the starting role. Over the past drafts, as will be looked at in separate articles, some younger defensive players are making an impact.
The Ravens need to take the next step, and start to integrate them even more into the defense so they are ready to replace the old fellers. For all I know, the Ravens are doing this during practice and OTAs, and other things behind the scenes.
But as for on the field, there has not been much done yet.
So, the Ravens need to look at the Seahawks and realize that being a young team does not negate the possibility at a championship.
They are getting older and older, and the Ravens can do nothing to stop it.