by Michael Richard-Webb
Today in my 32in32 series, we have my personal favorite team the Baltimore Ravens! The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens I might add! LOL!
In 2012, the Ravens failed to improve on their 12–4 record from 2011, but they did manage to clinch the AFC North. They finished the regular season with a 10-6 record sending them to their fifth straight playoffs. They reached the AFC Championship game for the second consecutive season, then advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2000.
The Ravens were able to secure their second Super Bowl victory with a score of 34–31 against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers. It was also the first time in franchise history that the Ravens won consecutive division titles. This marked John Harbaugh’s 5th season as the head coach and 5th straight playoff appearance.
The Ravens dedicated their season to former owner and founder Art Modell, who died on September 6, 2012. The team wore an “Art” patch on the left side of their jerseys. Ray Lewis, the last remaining member of the original Ravens roster from 1996 and 2000 Super Bowl winning team announced his retirement at the end of the season. His final game was the victory in the Super Bowl.
This off-season was one of the craziest I can remember as a Ravens fan. It started off good with the Ravens re-signing Joe Flacco which made him the highest paid QB in the league, but was followed by the trade of their second best WR, maybe there best with Anquan Bolden going to the 49ers the team they just beat in the Super Bowl? The Ravens then made 2 good signings with Chris Canty and Elvis Dumervil while letting future Hall of Fame S Ed Reed go to the Houston Texans. Reed was replaced by Michael Huff, but they also let Paul Kruger go.
The draft was a great one, scored an A+ by me. They look poised to be the best draft class this year. The theme in Baltimore was to add athletes to the defense via the draft. They drafted Matt Elam, Arthur Brown and Brandon Williams, three defenders who were some of the fastest, most explosive players in the draft at their respective positions.
They followed it up by making another crazy, unexpected move by releasing Vonta Leach. This year look for the Ravens to be in the playoffs and to win the division. It would mark the 3rd straight year, but dont look for them to win back-to-back Super Bowl’s with a lot of questions on defense, sorry to say.
2013 Predicted Record (2012 Record 10-6) – 10-6 1st AFC North
Players with the most to prove (Offense/Defense) – Jacoby Jones / Entire Ravens defense
MVP’s (Offense/Defense) – Joe Flacco / Terrell Suggs
Surprise Players (Offense/Defense) – Dennis Pitta/ Ladarius Webb (No relation lol)