2007 Baltimore Ravens Preview

2007 Baltimore Ravens preview from MadduxSports.com. Use an experts NFL picks this season to turn your normal losing seasons into point spread success.

Should Make a Strong Run in ‘07
By Adam Barone

The Ravens, known for their vicious defense since moving to Baltimore, have yet to bring their offense to match it. Jamal Lewis ran for 2000 yards in ‘03, but has had trouble getting much past the 1000 yard plateau since and was unsuccessful in gaining enough respect from NFL defenses to draw attention from Steve McNair and the passing game.

In the ‘06 playoffs, the Ravens only gained 83 yards on the ground against a Colts defense that a pee wee team could have torn up. The Super Bowl Champion Colts will be almost identical this coming season to last and will stand in the way of anyone looking to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. After going 13-3, the Ravens have little to worry about other than how to advance to the big game. In order to beat a team with such a high powered offense as the Colts or the one being assembled in New England, the Ravens will need to control the ball better so they can keep those offenses off the field.

Top priority for the Ravens this offseason was to improve the running game. Jamal Lewis' big play ability had become virtually non-existent, but after letting him go to the Browns as a free agent, the old Browns (Ravens) made a deal with Buffalo to get Willis McGahee. McGahee is much younger and a significantly more dangerous big play threat. He's faster than Lewis and will likely miss less time due to injury because he is not the same down-hill, powerful, up-the-middle type runner as Lewis. McGahee will even add a new dimension to the Ravens offense with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

The team's top draft pick was G Ben Grubbs out of Auburn. Grubbs fits the Ravens' system perfectly with his athleticism and ability to get downfield to block. At some point, he'll start next to all-world tackle Jonathan Ogden on the left side and be perfect for outside runs where he'll be expected to pull around the right side, as well as on screen plays. His agility will even allow him to block quicker defenders such as linebackers in the open field.

In the ultimate copy-cat league that the NFL is these days, everyone seems to have taken notice to the Bears' selection of CB Devin Hester solely as a kick returner in ‘06. Hester made a strong bid for rookie of the year as a special teams player, when the award is specifically designated for one offensive player and one defensive player. The Ravens incumbent KR, B.J. Sams, is coming off a broken ankle and the Ravens do not want to be caught with inadequate field position. WR Yamon Figurs, the team's 3rd round selection out of Kansas State, should be Sams' successor, assuming Sams lost some degree of explosiveness from the injury. Figurs is a poor route runner and was likely drafted exclusively as competition for Sams.

2007 Baltimore Ravens Predictions

With the Steelers adjusting to their new coaching staff, the Browns still trying to piece together their puzzle, and the Bangles in constant struggle between improving their defense and bailing their players out of the slammer, the Ravens are a model of consistency. Their defense will be as impressive as always, and gambling on them making their way to the AFC title game or even the Super Bowl would not be much of a gamble at all.

If you enjoyed reading our Baltimore Ravens preview read up on the rest of the AFC North opponents like the Bengals, Browns, and Steelers team breakdowns from Maddux Sports.

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2007 NFL Team Previews

As usual Maddux presents its anual 2007 NFL preview sorted by divisions. From each division you can find our predictions as well an individual team report of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page.

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