2018 Ravens Season Preview & NFL Futures Lines
Looking for 2018 Baltimore Ravens predictions? We’ve got your back. The Ravens have outwardly shown a lot of stability over the past several years, but some cracks are emerging in the dam. Long time general manager Ozzie Newsome will step aside after this season in favour of his No. 2, Eric DeCosta, and owner Steve Bisciotti publicly stated he thought about firing head coach John Harbaugh following the team’s third consecutive season outside the playoff picture, and mainstay at quarterback, Joe Flacco, saw the team spend its first round pick on a quarterback – Lamar Jackson.
Through all that, the team completely rebuilt its offense in an effort to get back to the postseason in what could be the final year with the team for some key personnel.
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2018 Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Odds +4000
Ravens 2018 AFC Championship Odds Ravens +1800
Ravens 2018 AFC North Odds +425
Ravens Season Win Totals Lines – 8.0
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2018 Baltimore Ravens Predictions: Roster Changes
The big offseason acquisition was Michael Crabtree, who’s the biggest addition to a completely revamped wide receiving corps. Gone are Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, and Michael Campanaro. Taking over are Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead. After ranking 29th in passing a year ago, that unit should improve if these new faces can gel with Flacco quickly.
Danny Woodhead was expected to play a pretty significant role when he was signed to the team, but injuries derailed his chances of making an impact and now he’s out of town. As is veteran tight end Ben Watson, who returns to New Orleans.
2018 Baltimore Ravens Predictions: Offense
The Ravens’ offense has drawn a lot of attention since the team traded back into the first round and drafted Jackson out of Louisville. Flacco’s 6-year, $125 million contract, signed two offseasons ago, means he’ll be the starter as long as he’s in town, but his exit date was likely pushed up with that selection.
Flacco’s salary meant it was difficult to improve the team’s offensive line or running game in the offseason. The team is going to take a step back at center and right tackle with the departures of Ryan Jensen and Austin Howard, respectively. Alex Collins will again shoulder the workload at running back.
2018 Baltimore Ravens Predictions: Defense
Not much changed on the defensive side of the ball over the offseason after the team allowed only 18.9 points per game a year ago to rank sixth in the league in scoring defense. The only major question mark is whether they can get top cornerback Jimmy Smith onto the field for Week 1. Terrell Suggs has really committed himself to his offseason workout regimen, and that’s allowed him to continue to be effective entering his age-36 season.
2018 Baltimore Ravens Handicapping: (Strengths/Weaknesses)
An underrated strength of this Ravens team is the kicking battery, with kicker Justin Tucker and punter Sam Koch forming arguably the best tandem in the league. But it’s the defense that will really drive the bus for the Ravens this year. That group has the potential to be a top-5 unit in the league.
The offensive line has a chance to really derail the offense in a big way. Flacco doesn’t provide much mobility under center, so he’ll be a sitting duck back there if that unit can’t hold up. It’ll be interesting to see if that forces the team’s hand and gets Lamar Jackson some playing time earlier than scheduled.
2018 Baltimore Ravens Prediction (Final Record): 8-8
The Ravens probably needed to do more in the offseason, considering all that’s on the line for them this year, but Flacco’s contract makes it so difficult to make the kinds of roster adjustments that are necessary for this group to get back into contention.
If Flacco can really take off with his new receiving corps, motivated by the Jackson draft selection, the Ravens can go far, but this offense seems poised to struggle for another year. Don’t be surprised if Jackson gets his shot sooner than expected.
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