I made a lot of changes to the old one that I thought it was worth it to make a new post showing the new tier list. This ranking is only for LIVE/MATCH PVP battles, not auto Arena. This would also typically apply to heroes that are lv 79+ because at lower levels, a Mediena might be able to wipe the opponent's team with her LB. 79+, she would have trouble doing this. submitted by
SSS: Frederika, Thancred, Orlando
SS: Gilgamesh, Sterne, Yerma, Ramza
S: Xiza, Englebert, Ayaka, Mont
A: Mediena, Rairyuu, Shadowlynx, Oelde
B: Y'sholta, Macherie, Aileen
SSS Ranked Characters
Frederika: Her incredible range becomes very useful in live PVP. From where she starts (unless your opponents moves the starting positions), she can hit any of the 3 targets she desires. She can also hit the middle target without moving, and then run away, effectively kiting your opponents. She has the highest starting Agility in the game, and the combination of being able to move 1st & being able to hit anyone you want makes her very strong in Live Arena. She has reflex, which is the best reaction ability in the game, letting her dodge (if lucky) even guaranteed hit skills. Gunners normally cannot shoot through objects (including your own heroes), but her ranger skills solve this problem (just don't unlock high charge).
Thancred: High HP & ATK, has access to two ATK buffs to pump his dmg if you want to run him more offensively. Or he can also be run more defensively with his DEF buff & regen buff, which he can also cast on others. He has access to both Slash & Pierce damage and +1 MOVE/JUMP skill to more easily maneuver around the battlefield. He is very versatile and able to fill multiple roles. He has a gap closer and and a long range skill.
Orlando: The combination of high HP & ATK, & low cost range 5 skill makes him very good in live arena. He can also decreases opponent's defense, a vampire skill to heal himself, an ATK buff, multiple debuff resists. I don't have as much experience with him as I'd like to, so if more people can give feedback I'll add to it.
SS Ranked Characters
Gilgamesh: Althought his reaction ability lets him attack an opponent before he gets attacked, it is limited to melee range, and a lot of heroes commonly seen in arena use ranged skills as a way to not proc this effect. Since most of the good characters are slash-types, he can not only cause large damage to the opponent, but also cast the slash-resist down debuff on opponents causing all your slash dmg dealers even more damage. He can also cast haste on himself, letting him take turns very frequently.
Sterne: He has very high damage and will likely 1-hit any non-tank/bruiser. His ninja tree gives him 2 options to attack from afar - Anton which has lower range but higher damage and can attack through objects. His weakness is that is has very little HP and can easily be 1-hit KOed himself by most DPS heroes.
Yerma: She has very high damage, and has a range 3 ATK which crits often. Combined with +1 move/AGI up from thief passive she is fairly mobile while being a lot sturdier than Sterne or Xiza.
Ramza: beefy enough to take hits and with this aoe ATK+MAG+Brave buff is great along with aoe Magic Resist is amazing. Being a hybrid attacker as well he can hit hard on either spectrum. And his agility is nothing to scoff at as well. I don't have as much experience with him as I'd like to, so if more people can give feedback I'll add to it.
S Ranked Characters
Ayaka: I moved her down a rank, because I just don't see her as often in high level live arena anymore. At lv 99, she has a base HP of 1800+ and has a lv 40 talent which further increases her HP. This makes her very tanky and able to survive being 1-shot. In addition to providing healing, she can also raise characters after they have been KOed, can Haste, and also has access to Holy to deal magic damage. To top it all off, she has a very high base Agility of 60.
Xiza: Similar to sterne, but has more base agility. She is also able to raise characters that have been KOed, giving an edge over 1:1 trades. Since a lot of commonly used heroes are Light attribute (Thancred, Englebert, Ramza), her dark Attribute will enable her to do more damage to them, but in return will take more damage from them. Her high base agility and ranged attacks could help her to kite them. If subclassed as Thief, she also has Steal Time which can help to lock down low agility champions. I'd like more input on her. While she looks good on paper, I haven't encountered her often in live pvp.
Engelbert: Deals considerable damage for being a tank. There are very few good magic options for Arena right now, so he has a lot of resistant to all types of damage. He is ranked S instead of SS because of his lack of mobility - he only has move 3, and very limited ranged options, and low agility.
Mont: He is very good in live arena (as you have the option to not use stone throw). He is just a bit less tanky than Engelbert but makes up for it with move 4 instead of 3. He also has a buff to boost his damage (unlike Engelbert), and at the current state of the game, it's much easier to have him at higher levels than Engelbert. Since Orlando/Frederika are very popular currently, Mont's earth type gives him a natural advantage over them. Mont is also capable of dealing high damage because of his killer blade which has a range of 2, effectively giving him a reach of 5 squares. His TMR is also useful in arena as it grants agility, but requires one turn to use (not a passive).
A Ranked Characters
Mediena: Although shes very good in PVE, she is not so good in live PVP. Since she has little HP, she will die to a physical damage dealer if the enemy dps goes first. You can pump up her agility, but doing so will gimp her damage leaving her unable to 1-shot enemy dps (except Sterne, probably). If she can't 1-shot Frederika, for example, Frederika will kill her next turn. She can be built for agility and use her green or white mage jobs in a supporting capacity, but she must outspeed the enemy DPS or she will be dead turn one. Therefore she is only ranked A.
Rairyuu: Like Frederika, he can kite the enemy with his long range. However he has lower agility and damage, and cannot shoot through objects.
Shadowlynx: Since Frederika is so prevalent in high level arena, and has access to sharpshoot, Shadowlynx evade wouldn't be reliable. If you do catch an opponent who has no way to deal with evade, she could potentially be good. She is capable of dealing high damage because of all her ATK passives.
Oelde: Has a range 4 attack that ignores obstacles. Is fire element which gives an edge over both Mediena & Gilgamesh, while being unlikely to encounter any water element opponents in pvp. He has a very high crit rate (capable of reaching 95 crit with passives & buffs) & very high ATK( Sharp Spear (+38%), Devotion (+30%) and Blade Soul (+25%)). His low agility is his drawback, but that low agility limits him from being used as a assassin. I don't have as much experience with him as I'd like to, so if more people can give feedback I'll add to it.
B Ranked Characters
Y'sholta: She suffers from a lack of agility to be useful here. As she has low hp, she'll get sniped before she can do anything.
Macherie: Similar to Y'sholta, she suffers from a lack of agility to be useful here. As she has low hp, she'll get sniped before she can do anything. I don't have as much experience with her as I'd like to, so if more people can give feedback I'll add to it.
Aileen: Has high damage, but her Agility is very slow, she'll likely be killed before she can make any meaningful impact. She does not have the durability of Englebert to make up for her lack of agility. I don't have as much experience with her as I'd like to, so if more people can give feedback I'll add to it.
For the undecided characters, I either don't have much experience with them, nor have I seen them being used often enough to decide how good they can be. Open to discussion & suggestions for any character!
AFC North Link to Hub Coaching Changes
After ending the season by letting the Bengals score a winning touchdown on a fourth and 12 from 49 yards out, which lead to the country being forced to watch a hideous Bills playoff game, many fans were not sad to see the Ravens Defensive Coordinator, Dean Pees, retire. Personally I thought he was a good DC but his defenses seemed to give up big plays at particularly bad moments pretty often. Pees’ retirement lasted a whole month until he decided to become the DC of the Titans for one of his former players, Mike Vrabel. Dean Pees was replaced by the Ravens Linebackers coach, Don “Wink” Martindale. Martindale is beloved by his players and has developed a good amount of talent at linebacker, including CJ Mosley and Zach Orr (RIP), but in his 32 year coaching career he has only been a DC for one of them, and it didn't go great. Martindale was the Defensive Coordinator for the Broncos in 2010 and while he didn't exactly have a stacked roster, they allowed the most yards and had the least turnovers of any team and were bad in pretty much every aspect of playing defense. In Baltimore Martindale is inheriting a defense that lead the league in turnovers last and allowed the sixth fewest points in the league. Mike Macdonald has come in as the new linebackers coach for this season.
On the offensive side of the ball, many ravens fans may have been hoping to see Marty Mornhinweg fired after a mediocre unimaginative offense disappointed fans for most of the season, but John Harbaugh decided to do what he normally does and let his OC stick around for too long (see: Cam Cameron as OC for five years). Instead the one coaching bright spot in the offense , Greg Roman, was promoted to assistant head coach/ Tight Ends coach after his designs helped turn around the running game last year. Free Agency
|Players lost/cut ||Position ||New Team |
|Mike Wallace ||WR ||Eagles |
|Jeremy Maclin ||WR ||Unsigned |
|Danny Woodhead ||RB ||Retired/ Full Time Gym Rat |
|Ben Watson ||TE ||Saints |
|Austin Howard ||RT ||Colts |
|Ryan Jenson ||C ||Bucs |
Going in to 2017 Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin looked like they could be a potentially exciting WR duo for Joe Flacco to throw the ball near. Shockingly Maclin could not stay healthy and ended up only catching 40 passes for a whopping 440 yards, Wallace played better, but was not as effective as he was in 2016 and had some drops in key situations. Danny Woodhead suffered a hamstring injury during the week one game against the bengals after looking like he could be a key part of the offense. After that he never looked completely healthy and Alex Collins became the lead back. Ben Watson was the offenses most reliable receiver, but with his age, it was an understandable to not to re-sign him. The only two players that walked in FA that I would have liked to stay are Austin Howard and Ryan Jensen. The Ravens decided not to pick up the option on Howard’s contract, deciding to instead take the 3 million dollar cap savings. The other player i would ideally like to have kept is Ryan Jensen, he played as a backup his first three seasons and ended up starting to begin the 2017 season and was very impressive in his first full season leading the Buccaneers to give him a $42 million 4 year contract. While Jensen had a great season this past year I wouldn’t have been able to get behind making him one of the highest paid interior lineman in the league because of one season. Free Agent Additions/ Re-signings
|Player ||Position ||Old Team ||money/year |
|Robert Griffin III ||QB ||Browns ||$1.1m/1 year |
|Michael Crabtree ||WR ||Raiders ||$21m/3 years |
|John Brown ||WR ||Cardinals ||$5m/1 year |
|Willie Snead ||WR ||Saints ||$7m/2 years |
|James Hurst ||OL ||Ravens ||17.5m/ 4 years |
RG3 is basically a no risk/low reward signing, paying a backup QB $1.1 million a year with only 100,000 guaranteed isn’t going to hurt the team in any way. If the Ravens went into the offseason knowing they were going to target Lamar Jackson in the draft they probably signed RG3 to mentor him and try to show Lamar how he succeeded and how he failed while having a similar style of play. Like I said there’s not really any downside to this signing and there’s no guarantee he makes the roster out of camp as the Ravens usually only carry two QBS, but while he’s on the team, how can you not love the purple dreads?
While there weren't any big splash signings by the Ravens this offseason, they basically revamped their whole WR corps in one offseason. Michael Crabtree is an older possession receiver, but he’s reliable for the most part and has scored 25 touchdowns in the past three years, so he could be a consistent threat in the redzone, something the Ravens have lacked since Anquan Boldin. I think the Crabtree signing was a very good decision, especially because the majority of his guaranteed money is gone after the first year, so if he doesn't live up to expectations it won’t be hard to move on.
John Brown has had some incredible flashes of play over the past few years, but has also struggled a lot with injuries. Brown could end up being a welcome surprise if he stays healthy, but expecting him to play all 16 games might be too much. Overall a one year $5 million contract isn’t a huge risk to take on a WR with big play ability like Brown.
Willie Snead might have been my favorite signing of the three WRs. Snead was suspended for PEDs last offseason and spent most of the season after he was reinstated in Sean Payton’s doghouse. While Snead has surely benefitted from playing with Brees, I’ve always been a fan of him as a receiver, he’s not a flashy player but he’s versatile, has good hands, and has some incredible hair
James Hurst was brought back on a somewhat surprisingly large deal for a lineman who’s never been a reliable starter and whose claim to fame is getting bullrushed into Flacco's lap and tearing his ACL
. Having a backup that can play at every spot on the line if needed definitely has value, but I’m not sure that the Ravens needed to hand Hurst a contract like this one in order to keep him around when he’s not really a guy you want to see on the field. Draft
Thoughts on the Draft and the occasional grade Hayden Hurst C-
|Round ||Pick ||Player ||Position ||School |
|1 ||25 ||Hayden Hurst ||TE ||South Carolina |
|1 ||32 ||Lamar Jackson || |WR QB |Louisville |
|3 ||19 ||Orlando Brown ||OT ||Oklahoma |
|3 ||22 ||Mark Andrews ||TE ||Oklahoma |
|4 ||18 ||Anthony Averett ||CB ||Alabama |
|4 ||22 ||Kenny Young ||ILB ||UCLA |
|4 ||32 ||Jaleel Scott ||WR ||New Mexico State |
|5 ||25 ||Jordan Lasley ||WR ||UCLA |
|6 ||16 ||Deshon Elliott ||S ||Texas |
|6 ||38 ||Greg Senat ||OT ||Wagner |
|6 ||41 ||Bradley Bozeman ||C ||Alabama |
|7 ||20 ||Zach Sieler ||DL ||Ferris State |
I have three career touchdowns less than Hayden Hurst, but I've also never played college football. Hurst quit playing professional baseball after developing the yips and not being able to throw strikes anymore. After that he decided to give college football a try and played three years at South Carolina. In those three years he caught only 100 balls for just over 1200 yards, he had one touchdown in his sophomore season and two in his junior season. South Carolina isn't exactly known for being an offensive powerhouse but those are by no means first round tight end numbers. Obviously there's more that goes into scouting a player than just their college statistics and Hurst is better than the numbers he put up, but I don't think he was worthy of a first round selection. He is a well rounded TE who is a solid route runner and a reliable blocker, but the way the NFL is trending I think the Ravens put way too much emphasis on the blocking ability of Hurst, and nowhere near enough on his receiving ability, which is alright but not what a first round Tight End's should be. I am obviously not a fan of the pick and was even less of a fan of the pick during the draft after the Ravens traded down twice and still didn't take Lamar Jackson (they remedied that a few picks later). Lamar Jackson A
Lamar Jackson has been an incredible player to watch from his first game at Louisville, in his college career he took home the Heisman trophy for his sophomore season and was a finalist for the award in his Junior season as well. Lamar is obviously an incredible athlete, but the reason he was a first round quarterback and one of my favorite quarterbacks in this draft class was because he's shown development as a passer every year he's started. Most people would think he regressed his junior year since he didn't win the Heisman a second time, but he played better in junior year than he did the year before, he just didn't produce the same win loss record and big upset wins that he did in his sophomore season. Before the draft there were rumors that some NFL teams didn't view him as a quarterback. Whether that was true or it was just teams and analysts spreading rumors, Lamar is a phenomenal quarterback, who just happens to also be the best athlete on pretty much any field he steps on. He ended up not doing athletic drills at the combine to reinforce that he is a quarterback and nothing else, but at Louisville's team testing day in 2017 it was reported that he ran a 4.34. What makes him a great quarterback prospect is that he doesn't always want to use that athleticism, he is very much the type of quarterback that wants to throw the ball first and will try to extend plays to make throws downfield, and then if those plays aren't there, he will take off. His biggest issue as a passer is his sometimes erratic footwork that leads to inaccurate throws, whether it was because of being pressured or wanting to get the ball out quick, I think if he can work on that in the pros that will be much less of a concern going forward. Orlando Brown Jr. C+
After turning in the worst combine performance of all time, and being yelled at by coaches for his laziness while doing it Brown slipped from a possible first round prospect to a possible day three pick. Brown played very well at Oklahoma, not allowing a sack in his last season, but there is some concern over how much he was helped by Lincoln Riley, who is probably the best offensive mind in college football, and having a quarterback who can get himself out of trouble with his legs like Baker Mayfield. Run blocking is definitely where Brown is his best as he uses his massive body to overpower defenders, he has a harder time in pass protection where his lack of athleticism can be exploited by quicker players. I don't love the pick, but Brown being picked by the Ravens is a great story. His father, known as Zeus, was part of the original Ravens team and a fantastic OT during his career. Zeus passed away in 2011 and never got to see his son play college football. Orlando was born the year that his father moved to Maryland to play and wrote Ozzie Newsome a letter during the draft process asking them to draft him so he could play for his dad's former team. Mark Andrews B+
Another Oklahoma player and Baker Mayfield's go to receiver in big situations. Andrews is much more of a receiving TE than a blocking TE, but he is a very good receiver. His junior year he won the John Mackey award for best TE in college football and hauled in 62 passes for just under a thousand yards and 8 touchdowns (more than double Hursts' career total). Andrews can be a great mismatch when used in the slot and should be the Ravens main TE on passing downs. Anthony Averett
A two year starter at Alabama, Averett will not see the field this year unless the team suffers a lot of injuries in the secondary. Kenny Young
An athletic ILB that could compete for playing time next to CJ Mosley this season Jaleel Scott
The Ravens love to draft raw speed/ size guys at WR and hope they can develop them, the only problem is that it basically never works out for them. Scott is incredibly raw and was definitely overdrafted.
I'm a huge draft nerd, but even I can barely tell you anything about most players that are drafted, I honestly didn't even know Ferris State was a school, let alone a school that was going to have a DE drafted out of it. The Ravens had a solid draft that provided them with a future QB, hopefully at least one TE of the future, a player that compete to start at RT right away, and some guys who look like they'll be solid depth. Offseason news
This was Ozzie Newsome's last draft as a GM, and now his protege who has been waiting in the wings for the past few years, Eric Decosta, will be taking over. Ozzie was basically in charge of the Raven's draft beginning in their first year as a franchise, but was named GM in 2002, making him the first black GM in the NFL. During that stretch he has been one of the best GMs in the league, helping lead the Ravens to two Superbowls in less than 20 years of existing as a franchise. Ozzie will probably go down as one of the best talent evaluators ever (ignoring wr), and would certainly be headed to Canton if he wasn't already there as a player. Decosta has turned down multiple other GM jobs and interviews to stay with Baltimore and seems to have mostly similar philosophies to Ozzie, it's going to be hard to live up to the expectations that were set by his mentor, but with Ozzie's training and Decosta's years of experience as assistant GM he's in a good spot. Projected Starting Lineup Offense
QB: Joe Flacco
RB: Alex Collins
FB: Patrick Ricard
WR: Michael Crabtree
WR: Willie Snead
WR: John Brown
LT: Ronnie Stanley
LG: Alex Lewis/ James Hurst
C: Matt Skura
RG: Marshal Yanda
RT: Orlando Brown/ James Hurst Defense
DT: Brandon Williams
NT: Michael Pierce
DE: Brent Urban/ Carl Davis/ Willie Henry
OLB: Terrell Suggs
OLB: Matt Judon
ILB: CJ Mosley
ILB: Patrick "Peanut" Onwuasor
CB: Jimmy Smith
CB: Marlon Humphrey
Nickel CB: Brandon Car Tavon Young
FS: Eric Weddle
SS: Tony Jefferson Roster Strengths and Weaknesses Quarterback
: Weakness with potential
Joe Flacco has been an average to bad QB since his incredible superbowl MVP run, unfortunately his contract has him locked on this roster through at least the 2019 season. After the superbowl run I was unfortunately one of the fans who considered him a franchise QB and thought signing him was a no-brainer. Since that extension the Ravens letting Tyrod walk, there's not much question in my mind that Tyrod has been the better QB of the two, and he's done it without a contract that cripples his team. The bright spot in this area of the roster is obviously Lamar Jackson, once a team takes a QB in the first round it's not a matter of if the old QB is benched, but when. I don't expect Lamar to start the season, but I would be surprised if he's not the starter by the end of the year. RG3 is also here. Running Backs
Alex Collins is the headliner here and he had a great second half of the year where he looked like one of the better backs in the league. Behind Collins there's Kenneth Dixon who got suspended and then hurt last year and never saw the field. He was an exciting prospect coming out of college, but missed most of his rookie year with an injury and at this point is mostly has to prove he can stay on the field before I get excited about him again. Buck Allen is a sold back whose strength is his receiving ability, but has never shown that he's able to carry a full load. OL
: Hopefully the starters survive this year
The Ravens have become somewhat of an underrated Oline factory, with three starters leaving for free agency in the past three years and all three of them becoming some of the highest paid lineman in football. Kelechi Osemele went to the raiders on a 58 million dollar deal, Ricky Wagner went to the Lions on a $47 million dollar deal and Ryan Jensen left for the Buccaneers this offseason on a 42 million dollar contract. Hopefully they can continue developing that level of talent this year.Last year it seemed like the Ravens sent 10 Olinemen that played at some point to the IR, that being said they performed much better than one would expect when they cycled through players like they did. This year the only two returning starters are Ronnie Stanley, who's beginning to look like an upper tier LT and Marshal Yanda, who has been one of the best linemen in the league for the past ten years. Outside of those two guys it's pretty much a toss up as to who will start and how the line will perform. WR's and TE's
: Meh with upside
With basically a completely revamped WR corps this year, it should be easy to improve on group of players that were a joke of a wr corps last year. It was so bad last year that Griff Whalen got playing time , the Griff Whalen from the infamous colts trick punt. Crabtree, Snead and Brown should lead the team in snaps with Chris Moore, Breshad Perriman and Tim White getting snaps as well. At TE Nick Boyle will likely start the season if he doesn't get popped for PEDs for the 15th time, with Hurst and Andrews probably taking more snaps as the season goes on. Hopefully the coaching staff will use Andrews as a mimatch weapon as opposed to just lining him up inline. Front Five
: Big strength
The Raven run a hybrid defense, so instead of DL and LBs I'm going to list the front five who are usually on the line and the Inside Linebackers. The Ravens lead the league in sacks last year, partially because some creative schemed blitzes and playing bad quarterbacks but the players in this group are legit. Terrell Sugg is somehow still a number one pass rusher, Matt Judon showed in his second that he was more than just a freak athlete and racked up 8 sacks and plenty of pressures. Behind those two as starters there are two promising young edge rushers in Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams. Last year they didn't contribute much, as Bowser never played as a true edge rusher in college and still had a lot of learning to do and Williams didn't look like the same player he didn in college. On the interior D-line Brandon Williams is right up there with Damon Harrison with his run stuffing ability, although he does not offer much as a pass rusher. Michael Pierce at nose tackle basically fits the same mold. When the Ravens need pass rush from the interior they usually sub those two out and bring out Willie Henry, who had a very promising year last year, Brent Urban can be a solid pass rusher when he’s healthy and Chris Wormley is a very good athlete on the interior who should see more playing time this year. Inside Linebackers
: Really depends on the second guy
CJ Mosley is the obvious starter here and one of the best Linebackers in the league. Mosley has been in the Pro Bowl every year but his second season since coming out of Alabama, he never leaves the field and is one of the leaders of the defense. The question here is who plays next to him.last year Onwuasor played 60% of the teams snaps and was probably about average, but he's a lighter LB who struggles against the run, so he's not really a guy you always want on the field. This year Kenny Young will likely compete for snaps next to Mosley. Secondary
: Holy Shit
This secondary should be one of the best in the league this year if they avoid major injuries. Jimmy Smith is coming back from an injury and is probably a top ten corner when healthy, outside of him Marlon Humphrey had a phenomenal rookie year and will probably be the other outside corner. At nickel corner it's going to be a competition between Tavon Young and Brandon Carr. Young missed last year with a torn ACL, but had a very strong rookie year in 2016 as a slot corner, Brandon Carr's play was good last year, but the Ravens might want to go with Young as the starter considering what he showed his first year. At safety the Ravens have one of the best safety tandems in the league with Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson. Last year was somewhat of a down year for Jefferson, but I think based on the rest of his career that a bounceback year is coming. Both guys are interchangeable at either safety position, and form a duo that is hard to find a big weakness in. Some other players that looked promising last year and that you should expect to see contribute this year are Maurice Canady at corner and Chuck Clark at Safety. Special Teams
: Better than your teams
Justin Tucker is a better kicker and Opera singer than your kicker and those are just facts. Hopefully this year he won't be the only/best shot for the Ravens to get on the scoreboard, but if he is knowing he has a weirdy accurate cannon instead of a leg is pretty comforting. Sam Koch continues to be one of the better punters in the league and showed last year that he should also have been the backup qb over Ryan Mallett, because he completed both pass attempts for 38 yards and has completed every pass he's ever attempted in his career (all 4). Camp competitions Quarterback
While I don't think the Ravens coaching staff will actually let this be an open competition in camp, Flacco could easily be replaced by the new weird JUGS robot that Iowa has
and I don't think there would be a drop off. Flacco has either had the alright level of talent he used to have stolen a-la the Monstars, or he's just stopped caring and is ok with being a less funny, less handsome Jay Cutler. Unless something really changes with Flacco this season I expect to see Lamar Jackson start towards the end of the season, especially if the Ravens don't have a shot at the playoffs. Personally Flacco is just draining to watch play QB, and has made it less and less exciting to be a Ravens fan because you basically know that the team is never really gonna have a great day on offense and you're gonna have to hope the defense plays its ass off in order to get a win. OLine
All three spots that don't have returning starters are going to be a competition in camp, and James Hurst is a possibility that no one really wants at all of them. At Left Guard it's going to be between Alex Lewis and Hurst, this coaching staff seems to want to give Lewis another chance even though he's constantly hurt. At center it's between Matt Skura, Alex Lewis and James Hurst, I expect Skura to win it after having some solid play last year. At RT it seems like it's been narrowed down to Hurst or Orlando Brown, but Alex Lewis was talked about here too since he played tackle in college, I expect Hurst to win but Brown playing this year wouldn't shock me TE
Boyle comes in to camp as the likely starter and I think he'll start opening day too, but by the end of the year I expect to see Hurst and Andrews on the field more than Boyle. Former second round pick Maxx Williams is also here, but it wouldn't shock me if he doesn't make the roster, as he's been hurt a lot and hasn't showed much when he's been on the field. ILB
Kind of already went over this one, besides CJ Mosley it's probably going to be a competition between Onwuasor, Kenny Young and Kamalei Correa. I expect Onwuasor to win and play most of the snaps, Young could get some snaps too, but Correa's looking more and more like a bust as there is talk he might be moved back to edge again after coming in to the nfl as an edge and almost immediately getting move to inside linebacker.
Nickel CB Again I've already discussed this and I'd expect to see more of Tavon Young than Brandon Carr. Schedule Predictions Week 1: vs Buffalo Bills W
At quarterback the Bills will be starting either Nathan Peterman or Josh Allen. That's really all the analysis needed here but I'll talk about it some more. The Bills have one weapon on offense, and there's some pretty serious accusations being thrown at Shady right now, so if he ends up getting suspended the Bills have the worst skill position group in the league, and what's shaping up to be a 2017 Bengals level Oline to go with it. Defense might be there strong suit, but even there they basically have one corner that scares you and their big offseason get was overpaying a Defensive Tackle that can't rush the passer. I think the Bills traded away way too much talent in the name of "rebuilding the culture" and are going to be one of the worst teams in the league this year. Week 2: at Cincinnati Bengals L
It seems like the Ravens split the series with the Bengals every year, and since they don't play in week 17 this year and can't ruin the Ravens playoff chances I'm going to put the loss here. I expect the Bengals to improve slightly this year, they should have a better Oline and might actually let John Ross play some receiver this year instead of practice squad db. Also Carl Lawson could develop into a terrifying pass rusher in his second year. Week 3: vs Denver Broncos W
Case Keenum played great last year, but he did that with a great coaching staff and one of the best rosters in the NFL around him. Keenum is moving from having two top 15 WRs, a reliable TE, a solid running game and a great scheme to the Broncos where I don't see him having any of that. Thomas and Sanders are a good wr duo, but they aren't on the level of Thielen and Diggs and I don't see rest of the offense wowing anyone. On defense Von Miller is one of the best pass rushers in the league and they added Chubb in the draft, but that's kind of all their front 7 has that scares anyone. In the secondary they still have two good corners after trading Talib away in Bradley Roby and Chris Harris, but the nickel corner spot is a big question, at Safety they have two solid guys in Justin Simmons and Darian Stewart but neither are really fantastic. Week 4: at Pittsburgh Steelers L
The Steelers offense is still going to be one of the best in the league as long as Le'veon doesn't hold out, and even then they still could be. This game to me depends on if Le'veon is playing and how healthy Jimmy Smith is because he seems to be one of the few corners in the league that can actually cover Antonio Brown. In the draft the Steelers decided to draft a fifth round safety in the first round and completely ignore the fact that they have no competent inside linebackers, so I was pretty happy with that. I still expect the Steelers D-line to be a wrecking ball, but besides that their defense looks like it's going to regress bad. Week 5: at Cleveland Browns W
The Browns have added a lot of talent through the draft the past two years, and I'm a big fan of Baker Mayfield, but with Hue Jackson as the HC and Gregg Williams having his FS play so far back they look like they're about to return a punt, I don't think the talent is good enough to overcome the coaching. Week 6: at Tennessee Titans W
This is definitely one of the games I'm the most hesitant about putting as a win. Last year the Titans beat the Ravens by three points and benefitted from two awful throws by Flacco that Kevin Byard turned into interceptions. The Titans are a pretty young team with a first year head coach and I just don't have much faith in Mike Vrabel turning Mariota around and winning right away. Week 7: vs New Orleans Saints L
The Saints have an incredible roster across the board and Drew Brees seems to not be affected by aging, they can attack you on defense basically any way they want to and on defense they have a bunch of young guys that seem on their way to developing into studs and some guys that already are some of the best at their position including Cameron Jordan and Marshon Lattimore. Week 8: at Carolina Panthers L
Even with Norv Turner somehow getting another OC job(and hiring half of his family as his staff) I still think Cam will be able to produce. The Panthers have the pieces to be a dangerous offense this year, but I think Norv will hold them back from actually becoming what they can be. McCaffrey might not be a huge threat running the ball, but now they've added CJ Anderson to take some carries. Kelvin Benjamin being replaced with DJ Moore is a huge addition to this offense, because it's better to have Wrs that can actually separate. The Oline will probably be a weakness, but Cam's legs have always helped there. On defense there's still a very intimidating front seven, Thomas Davis will be back from suspension and a healthy Kuechly is pretty much unstoppable. The place you can take advantage of this defense is definitely the secondary where they have a very young, besides Mike Adams, and not very talented group of players. Week 9: vs Pittsburgh Steelers W
See week 4 Week 10: bye
If the week 9 game against the Steelers ends up as a loss and the Ravens go into the bye with three losses in a row, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see Lamar start after the bye. Obviously that depends on Flacco’s performance in those games, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say they won't be great. Week 11: vs Cincinnati Bengals W
See week 2 Week 12: vs Oakland Raiders W
The John Gruden project has been hilarious so far, but not really in a good way for Raiders fans. Signing a coach that hasn't coached at all in ten years to a ten year 100 million fully guaranteed contract is crazy, especially when the owner probably can't buy out the contract if it does go south. Gruden has started by signing a bunch of old vets and there were reports around draft time that he had a completely separate draft board from Reggie Mckenzie and the scouting department and they were drafting off of Gruden’s board, which is believable because this draft was awful for the Raiders. Their Oline should still be a strength but I’ve never been sold on Carr and their only real threat at a skill position is Amari Cooper who is coming off a very down year. The defense is still awful outside of Khalil Mack, if you’re still relying on Leon Hall to play meaningful snaps in 2018 you’re doing something wrong. Week 13: at Atlanta Falcons L
Even with Steve Sarkisian doing everything he can to hold the offense back with his playcalling there is a crazy amount of talent on this team and it just added Calvin Ridley. Sark’s second year in the NFL should hopefully be better than the first. On the other side of the ball the defense has a crazy amount of speed at pretty much every position. Dion Jones has emerged as one of the best linebackers in the league, Grady Jarrett is a monster in the middle of the line and if Takk develops and Beasley bounces back from a down year this front seven could be crazy good. Even if Takk and Beasley don’t take those steps the Falcons have a very talented secondary, Trufant can be a shutdown corner and Robert Alford would be a few teams best corner. Then with the combo of Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal at safety this defense doesn’t any big weaknesses to take advantage of. Week 14: at Kansas City Chiefs L
The Chiefs are a very weird team in that they traded away their starting QB and their offense might actually improve. Last year’s offense was already one of the best in the league, but with the addition of Sammy Watkins and Patrick Mahomes bringing his style of play that is very different than what they’ve had with Alex Smith and could lead to more big plays, both with his legs and the cannon people call his arm. The defense will likely look worse this year though they are getting Eric Berry back, because that’s what happens when you trade one of the best corners in the NFL away. The chiefs added another good corner on defense when they acquired Kendall Fuller in their trade with the Redskins, but that still leaves them with just one starting level corner on the field. Week 15: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers W
Even before getting into Jameis’ awful decisions off the field, there had to already be questions if he was going to be the future of the franchise based on how he played, because it certainly hasn’t been to the level anyone expects out of a #1 overall pick. After this offseason I don’t see how any team can trust Jameis enough to give him a big contract, especially the Bucs. This season their offense should improve at least slightly because while Jameis has not played well, he’s definitely a couple steps above Ryan Fitzpatrick. With the weapons this offense has it could easily be one of the best in the league, but QB play and coaching will likely hold it back again. On defense they decided the way to go this offseason was to stack the shit out of the defensive line. They still don’t have one dominant player that teams are scared of, but they went from two or three actually good players to a deep rotation of guys that should be good. This team is still going to have a pretty weak secondary with some young corners and Vernon Hargreaves well on his way to being a bust. Week 16: at Los Angeles Chargers L
Knowing the Chargers they’ll be in playoff contention coming in to week 16 and need to win both of their last two games to get in, so i should probably change this to a win, but the roster is just too good on paper. The offense is loaded and has an improved Oline, and the defense has the best pass rush duo in the league with Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa and if Jason Verrett can stay healthy a great cb tandem. Week 17: vs Browns W
See week 5. Season Record Prediction: 9-7 Offensive and Defensive Schemes
Marty Mornhinweg returns this year as Offensive Coordinator after calling plays that lead to the the Ravens having the 27th ranked offense in yards per game. The offense last year was largely imaginative and ineffective until Greg Roman was given more control over the run game. After that point in the season the Ravens had a very diverse running scheme and finished right outside of the top ten in rushing offense. Roman used a downhill attack that utilized power, trap, and wham blocking plays pretty often towards the end of the year and that will likely continue this year as he has been promoted and should have more say in the offense. The passing offense will likely try to utilize play action off of the back of a strong running game.
On defense I don't expect Martindale to change the defense much from Pees’ scheme. I expect the Ravens to still use a hybrid defense that lines up in all different types of formations and uses creative blitzes to put pressures on opposing quarterbacks. I wouldn’t expect the Ravens to lead the league in turnovers again, as they won’t get the chance to play Deshone Kizer(twice) and Brett Hundley, but they should still be a defense that gets consistent pressure and makes life hell for opposing quarterbacks.
Thanks to PlatypusofDeath
for taking the mantle over from skepticismssurvival
and to my friends for helping edit and format the post. Hope you guys enjoy it!
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