Many Ravens fans long for a return of the offense that led the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2012. In 2014 we saw that return. January Joe came at the perfect time and took the eventual Super Bowl champions to their limit, but fell just short. In 2015, fans and sports commentators expected the Ravens to reload and make another title run, but injuries derailed those expectations.
After a weak show the last year led by offensive coordinators Marc Trestman and Marty Morhinweg, many NFL fans have lowered their expectations for the offense in 2017. Unfortunately, the team’s preseason performance did nothing to alleviate that.
Throughout the preseason the Baltimore Ravens offense was not good. The team went undefeated, mostly because of defensive dominance. Ryan Mallet, seventh year veteran out of Arkansas, proved how reliant offensive success will be on a healthy Joe Flacco. Of course, any team’s offense would be expected to take a dip without their starting quarterback. Because they had to start Mallett throughout the preseason, the offensive disappointments can be slightly forgiven.
Many happy returns
Thankfully, Joe Flacco has returned to practice this week. Returning alongside him are Breshad Perriman, Danny Woodhead and Marshal Yanda. With these key components returning to the field, the offense will be a lot stronger than it seemed in preseason.
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It could easily be argued that Flacco has never had a better receiving corps. Between Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman the Ravens have the speed, size and talent to light up the NFL. Despite the loss of Kenneth Dixon, the backfield is also looking solid for the 2017 season. Terrance West will handle the traditional running back duties and Danny Woodhead is one of the best pass-catching back’s in the league.
The Bengals will be missing a few defensive players this week, most notably: Pac-Man Jones and Vontaze Burfict. Their absence will allow Baltimore’s offense a much-needed chance to a mesh against a weakened opponent. If the defense continues its dominance into the regular season, then this team has playoff potential.
The biggest question is whether the offense will play well enough to allow the defense to win the game. With a great backfield as well as the best receiving corps in recent memory, it can and it will.