By Jordan Johnson and Brandon Beauchamp
A healthy group– The Ravens come into the season with their main group of guys coming back from injury. QB Joe Flacco who is coming off a torn ACL last year, Terell Suggs who is coming off a torn Achilles suffered in week 1, and Steve Smith Sr., who also suffered a torn Achilles, are all expected to be healthy and ready for week 1. This core group of guys should help put the Ravens in position to be in a playoff chase this season.
Schedule– The Ravens will play some tough games this year against teams from the AFC East and NFC East. The Ravens will square off against the Redskins in a Battle of the Beltways rivalry game on October 9th at home. The Ravens will also play a tough game against the New England Patriots on December 12th on a nationally televised Sunday Night Football game. This should be a tough matchup. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick led them to a 12-4 record last year.
Free agent additions– In the offseason, the Ravens added some free agents to help improve their roster. In March they signed star safety Eric Weddle from the San Diego Chargers. Last year Eric Weddle had 78 total tackles and looks to be the leader of a young Ravens secondary. The Ravens also added WR Mike Wallace from the Minnesota Vikings. Wallace looks to be the Ravens deep-threat receiver as he had 473 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns with the Vikings last year.
Local product Keenan Reynolds- The Ravens drafted WR/PR Keenan Reynolds in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Reynolds is a local product who hails from the Naval Academy and was in the top 20 in the country for rushing yards last year. He also holds many records at Navy and should be someone to look out for this year.
Potential bounce back year- Last year the Ravens finished at a record of 5-11 under Coach John Harbaugh. That was the first time the Ravens have ever finished under .500 with Harbaugh as the coach. The Ravens have never have never had a loosing season when Joe Flacco plays all 16 games and with Flacco expected to play all 16 games this year barring any injury, expectations are high in Baltimore this year and this could be a bounce back year for them.
Stats courtesy of Espn.com, Nfl.com and ncaa.com. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.