NFL Season Preview: Baltimore Ravens

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Last season the Baltimore Ravens were finally able to compliment their dominant defense with a potent offense led by starting quarterback Joe Flacco and Pro Bowl rookie running back Ray Rice, but even though they were finally able to get over the hump and light up the scoreboard, they fell just short in the playoffs against the reigning AFC Conference champion Indianapolis Colts.

The Ravens may have fallen short against Peyton Manning and company in the playoffs, but they have a promising future ahead of them as Joe Flacco and Ray Rice continue to get better and the defense remains amongst the best in the league.

Obviously, the defense will not be as dominant as it is now in the near future as perennial Pro Bowlers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are arguably on the downside of their Hall of Fame career, but they still have one or two seasons left in them to play at a high level.

The one thing that will motivate both Reed and Lewis heading into this NFL regular season will be the possibility of winning another Super Bowl title before they call it a career. Back when they won a Super Bowl back in 2000, the Ravens were able to win a ring solely because of their defense as they were worthless on offense.

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This time around things have changed as the Baltimore Ravens offense may have finally surpassed their defense in terms of dominance and that might be the reason that Joe Flacco and company could be Super Bowl bound this season.

As always, the competition in the AFC Conference will be tough, but even though the Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots and the New York Jets will have their sights set on competing for a Super Bowl title, the Baltimore Ravens might be the most complete team in the conference as they have both a dominant defense and a potent offense.

Obviously, in seasons past a dominant offense has been enough to lead teams like the Patriots, Colts and defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints to a title, but the combination of a potent offense and a lockdown defense can drive opposing teams crazy as they will feel helpless against the likes of the Baltimore Ravens.

Along with having an up and coming running back in Ray Rice and one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Joe Flacco, the Baltimore Ravens made a key addition this summer by giving their quarterback a downfield threat in perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

Even though Anquan Boldin was pursued by many teams this offseason, once it was made known that he was being made available by the Arizona Cardinals, the Baltimore Ravens were not accepting no for an answer as they knew that Boldin would be the missing piece of the puzzle for their offense.

After the trade between the Cardinals and the Ravens went down, the consensus around the league was that Baltimore was officially a Super Bowl title contender and one of the teams to beat in the AFC Conference this season.

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