Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl 50 Odds AnalysisAfter getting bounced out of the postseason in their heartbreaking 35-31 AFC divisional playoff loss to eventual Super Bowl champion New England, the big question surrounding the Baltimore Ravens (10-6 SU, 7-8-1 ATS, 7-9 O/U) heading into the 2015 regular season is quite simple.Can quarterback Joe Flacco and his Baltimore Ravens teammates take the next step toward getting back to the Super Bowl?We’ll examine that question and much more in this in-depth preview on Baltimore’s Super Bowl 50 Futures Odds.
2014 Season in ReviewThe GoodIn spite of some noticeable blemishes, the Baltimore Ravens still had their fair share of good news, starting with the fact that they once again finished inside the top 10 in total defense.
The Ravens routinely shut the front door on their opponents, finishing sixth in points allowed, (18.9 ppg), a stout fourth against the run (88.2ypg) and eighth in total defense (336.9 ypg). Speed rushing defensive end Elvis Dumervil finished third in sacks with 17.Justin Forsett was the team’s best offensive player as he finished fifth in rushing with 1,266 yards. Quarterback Joe Flacco had a solid, but not overly impressive campaign in finishing 12th in passing, (3,986 yards).The BadThe Ravens struggled to stop the pass in a big way, finishing 23rd overall (258.7 ypg) and their passing attack was also strangely dormant for long stretches of games. Baltimore’s special teams also were just so-so, but overall, the Ravens did a decent job of keeping their season and locker room pretty even-keeled.
The UglyHold on a second. Did I just say the Ravens kept their locker room drama-free? Well, that’s not true. Ray Rice and his off-field domestic assault case made national headlines – and instant policy changes – league-wide once video of Rice striking his now-wife was released to the public.Still, the Ravens dealt with one of the ugliest incidents in league history pretty well when they could have folded under the bright lights and constant questions about Rice.Let’s take a look at Baltimore’s offensive statistics from this past season.Offense
|Field Goal %||85.3||15|
|Field Goal %||83.3||16|
Urgent NeedsDefensive BacksCornerback Jimmy Smith and safety Will Hill are set to return as starters in 2015, but overpriced cornerback Lardarius Webb and his enormous $12 million cap hit will almost certainly be let go this offseason. Webb has never lived up to his contract so Baltimore will actually be better off by letting Webb go or bringing him back at a significantly lower salary.Baltimore also needs help at their strong safety spot with both, Matt Elam or Terrence Brooks coming up short when offered a chance to nab the starting spot permanently. The bottom line for Baltimore is that they need to find a cornerback and safety that can come in and start right away whether they do it through the draft or via free agency.
Moderate NeedsTight EndBaltimore’s tight end situation isn’t of extreme importance, but the Ravens will need to address who their starter is going to be in 2015. Former starter Dennis Pitta has had to deal with a pair of significant injuries in each of the last two seasons but veteran Owen Daniels filled in solidly in 2014 by catching 48 passes for 527 yards and four scores. Still, an upgrade is definitely necessary here wit the tight end position now being one of the most crucial in today’s passing attacks.
Wide ReceiverTorrey Smith is in line for a payday, but if he wants too much, Baltimore could part ways with the speedy wideout. Even if Smith stays, Baltimore needs at least one more consistent pass catcher, though I suspect they’ll sign a veteran in free agency.Running BackJustin Forsett had a fantastic season that resulted in a Pro Bowl berth and he’ll likely be looking for a bigger payday in 2015. If he wants too much, Baltimore could really be in need for a new starter.