The Baltimore Ravens finished the 2016 regular season at 8-8, missing the playoffs for the second season in a row. Head coach John Harbaugh is one of the best in the business, but the team just could not play consistent football throughout. The AFC North should be up for grabs once again in 2017, and with a solid roster on both sides of the ball, the Ravens could sneak up on the Pittsburgh Steelers for supremacy.
It all starts with the quarterback, and Joe Flacco has proven to be a good one. Steve Smith Sr. retired after the season, leaving a hole at the wide receiver position, but the organization did a nice job filling that this offseason. Jeremy Maclin, who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs, was picked up by the Ravens, giving the team another solid option alongside Mike Wallace in the passing game.
On defense, the Ravens are going through a youth movement, and will feature some fresh faces in 2017. Gone are the likes of Elvis Dumervil, but Terrell Suggs does return, and he will obviously be the leader of the unit. The Ravens brought in some talented players via the draft, including cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who many regarded as the best at his position in the class. He will team with Jimmy Smith to give the Ravens a strong starting unit at corner, to go along with Tony Jefferson and Eric Weddle at safety.
The schedule starts off in the Ravens favor, as they will play the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns within the first three weeks. The roster has enough talent to be a playoff contender, and Flacco is a proven quarterback when the calendar changes to January. If they can get the younger players on track early, this is a team that could easily win ten games this season, setting themselves up for a playoff run.