Baltimore Ravens Ranked No. 1 in Peter King’s Offseason Power Rankings


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My colleague Cole Moog wrote a piece last week stating why he believes the Baltimore Ravens are favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Moog is currently attending the University of Missouri, and has openly admitted that he is a Ravens fan. It is easy for him to get caught up in the hype that surrounds the Ravens.

It is a terrific feeling when someone in the national media agrees with you. When it’s one of the most respected men in the business, that is an amazing feeling.

Moog explained why he thought the Ravens would win the AFC. Peter King of took that on step further and thinks the Ravens are the early favorites to win Super Bowl 50 at Levi Stadium. King released his offseason power rankings on the first day of June, and he starts it off with a bit of a shocker. King has ranked the Ravens as his top team heading into the 2015 season.

"1. Baltimore (10-6). Why? I trust John Harbaugh to find answers in a league devoid of a truly great team. I trust the running game to take pressure off Joe Flacco until he develops chemistry with new receivers, and I trust Dean Pees to replace Haloti Ngata with a combination platter of front-seven changeups. This is a battle-tested team that had two 14-point playoff leads in Foxboro last January. I just think the Ravens will find a way."

Talk about pressure.

King has ranked the Ravens over both of last year’s Super Bowl participants. They’re ranked higher than the two teams that were defeated in the conference championship games. Baltimore has all kinds of unknowns with the departures of Torrey Smith on offense and Haloti Ngata on defense. King thinks the Ravens still have what it takes to win it all, and we have to agree.

Ozzie Newsome owned the draft again. He is the best in the business at reloading. The Ravens exited the draft with everything they need in terms of needs. Breshad Perriman replaces Smith’s speed on the outside. The team’s biggest need entering the draft was a tight end, and the Ravens moved up to select the top rated tight end in Maxx Williams. Carl Davis could be Ngata’s replacement. The remaining picks all figure to contribute at some point.

The Kendrick Lewis signing was kind of under the radar, but he has the skills to make plays in the secondary, something the Ravens have lacked since Ed Reed left the team. They followed it up with the bargain of the summer in acquiring Kyle Arrington following his departure from the New England Patriots. The recent signing of Cassius Vaughn is the typical late season steal that Newsome always seems to find this time of the year. 

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King is accurate in everything he says. The running game is the key to success to start the season because the Ravens have a slew of new targets for Flacco that is going to take time for him to adjust to. Flacco has said he is not worried about the offense, but there are some concerns entering the season. Steve Smith Sr. and Justin Forsett are the only two returning players that recorded more than 25 catches last season. There is a strong possibility that four of Flacco’s new weapons are rookies in Perriman, Williams, Nick Boyle and Darren Waller. The remainder of the receiving corps is being counted on to step up. We do not know what to expect from any of these guys except the proven track record with Smith.

The defense has its questions as well. King pointed out the loss of Ngata, but the Ravens saw how they will fare without him when he was suspended for the final four games of last season because of his suspension. Lewis, Arrington and Vaughn all must get acclimated into Pees’ scheme. The pass rush lost Pernell McPhee, but the team is hoping that rookie Za’Darius Smith can fill the void.

Is this the best team in the NFL? Not sure about that. They certainly are one of the elite teams. It’s hard to imagine the Seattle Seahawks making a third straight appearance in the Super Bowl. The Patriots are starting the season with Tom Brady. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are always threats. There are maybe three of four other teams that have a legitimate chance at winning it all.

The continued success of the Baltimore Ravens is because they stockpile talent better than anyone else. Harbaugh has all the tools necessary to make another run at a championship this season. He is adamant that he has an elite quarterback in Flacco. The defense has always been the calling card of the Ravens. The Ravens coach made a name for himself as a special teams coach in Philadelphia, and he emphasizes the importance of the group.

King thinks the “Ravens will find a way.” If the injury bug has left Baltimore, they have all the right pieces to give Ravens fans another celebration next February. As long as Harbaugh and Newsome are working together, they are always a serious contender.

Next: Ravens Rookies in LA for NFL Rookie Premiere