Will the Ravens finish in the bottom half of the AFC North? ESPN says, “Yes.”

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Ravens fans, according to some, have a tendency to overrate their own teams.  However, those same fans will swear by their team and often go down fighting, if at all.  It doesn’t hurt that the Ravens have been a fixture in the playoffs.

But, according to ESPN’s so-called “experts,” the Ravens are primed for a third place finish in the AFC North.  Check this out:

Of the 64 ESPN contributors who offered their 2014 forecast, only 12 predict the Ravens will win the division. That’s 18.7 percent, ranking a distant third.

The Cincinnati Bengals are the favorites with 29 experts (45.3 percent) voting for them. ThePittsburgh Steelers are the clear-cut second choice with 23 contributors choosing them (35.9 percent).

As you can see, this implies many are not sold on the Kubiak affect in Baltimore.  However, while many point to the running game for the source of last season’s offensive woes, it is truly hard to believe they won’t be drastically improved.  I don’t know, I guess I’m a homer.

Although, what this survey really tells us is that the top-3 of the AFC North is up for grabs, and it’s really anyone’s guess how the chips fall.  So while the Ravens were ranked in the third spot most often, they didn’t go without their share of praise:

Overall, 35 of the 64 experts (54.6 percent) predicted the Ravens to make the playoffs, whether it’s as the AFC North champion or a wild card. The Ravens had made the postseason for five straight seasons before narrowly missing out last season.

There are high expectations in Baltimore, no matter what pundits predict.  Joe Flacco has the pieces in place for his best season yet, and the defense has similarly added some key players.

All we can do now is sit back and enjoy.  There will be some ups and downs, but the Ravens should have a fighter’s chance each and every week.  And that’s all you can really ask for.

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  • Troy

    This is the same ESPN that said the O’s would finish in the basement…