Today is Thursday, which means we are now down to three work days remaining until we get to watch our purple and black take the field for a meaningful football game for the first time since that awful night in Indianapolis. Day 2 of our quick Ravens season preview sees the Ravens take on a neck-bearded QB, a QB that wears a skirt, and two other AFC East foes.
See Day 1 here.
Of course, all of these predictions are based on rosters, teams, etc., as they stand today. Injuries, suspensions, and whatever else could easily drastically change my feeling about any or all of the games. This is for fun more than anything else, so don’t go calling your bookie on my recommendations.
Week 5 – vs. Denver
The Ravens get Josh McDaniels’ crew at M&T Bank Stadium for the second straight season. Last year, the Broncos came to B’More 6-0. After a 30-7 beatdown courtesy of the purple and black, Denver went on to finish the season at just 8-8; new coach, same ol’ Denver collapse. What’s changed for the Broncos? Well, they lost their best player on each side of the ball – Brandon Marshall on offense and Elvis Dumervil on defense. A similar fate awaits the horseheads in Charm City this year.
Chance of Victory – 80%
Week 6 – @ Patriots
After going to Foxboro and slapping the Patriots around in the Wild-Card round of the 2009 Playoffs, the Ravens should have no reservations about winning football games in the land of chowdah and horrible, grating accents. While I don’t see the Pats falling to third in the AFC East as some are predicting, I’m not nearly as nervous about this game as I was about the 2009 version. Bill Belichick’s defense has more questions at secondary than even the Ravens do this year, and with Joe Flacco’s arsenal of weapons, its safe to say he’ll be in for a much better day statistically than he put up in January – but the result should be the same.
Chance of Victory – 60%
Week 7 – vs. Bills
The last time the Bills came to Baltimore was the 2006 season finale on New Year’s Eve, a game I personally have great memories of. In 2007, the Ravens visited Ralph Wilson Stadium and lost an ugly game under the direction of the Billick/Boller combination. This will be Buffalo’s first time seeing the John Harbaugh Ravens, and the Ravens’ first seeing the Chan Gailey Bills. Buffalo was 6-10 last season, but three of those wins came on the road. Looking at this game now in early September, it seems safe to pencil it in as a win, but with the Ravens finishing up a first tough “half” of the season and Buffalo coming off their bye week…I’ll just say this game worries me more than it probably should.
Chance of Victory – 70%
Week 9 – vs. Dolphins
The Ravens get their bye week to prepare for the Miami Dolphins, a popular pick to challenge the Jets and Patriots for the AFC East crown in 2010. John Harbaugh’s team had Miami’s number in 2008, beating them twice in their own house. The 2010 version of the Dolphins has some significant differences though, most notably a different Chad at quarterback. Henne took over for Pennington last year, starting 13 games and throwing for nearly 3000 yards. He gets a shiny new toy this year in the aforementioned Brandon Marshall, but there is a reason I chose the above picture of Ed Reed that I did. “Twenty” should definitely (fingers crossed) be back on the field for the Ravens after the bye (if not earlier), and it won’t matter which guy named Chad is putting the ball up in B’More that day – Reed will be receiving.
Chance of Victory – 75%
Friday – Weeks 10-13