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NFLPretty Much Screwed

Pretty Much Screwed: The 2013-2014 Baltimore Ravens

Welcome to “Pretty Much Screwed,” our definitive guide to the upcoming NFL season. This team-by-team preview details why your favorite franchise might have to start looking forward to next year — and highlights at least one reason for you to be hopeful. Today: we’ll talk about why the defending Super Bowl Champions don’t have a chance at repeating.

The Baltimore Ravens committed the cardinal offseason sin. When you win the Super Bowl, you do everything that you can to keep your core intact for at least one more year. You don’t let Dannell Ellerbe go in the same year that Ray Lewis is retiring. You don’t let Paul Kruger or Ed Reed or Bernard Pollard go. And most importantly, you don’t let your most reliable wide receiver go.

After losing Anquan Boldin to the 49ers and Dennis Pitta to a fractured hip, the Ravens’ receiving corps is looking pretty depleted right now.

Torrey Smith is now the Ravens’ number one wide receiver on the depth chart. He’s really good … at disappearing for multiple games at a time while managing to have a good overall season. In eight of the Ravens’ sixteen regular season games last year, Smith caught two or fewer passes. He was mediocre in two of the Ravens’ four postseason games. Smith was a great complement to Anquan Boldin, but he isn’t ready to be the team’s primary target.

So who else do they have to back up Smith? Jacoby Jones will be starting opposite him. Yes, that Jacoby Jones, the guy who had 51 receptions, 562 yards, and three touchdowns in the best of his six seasons in the NFL. The guy who caught 30 passes for 406 yards and just one touchdown for the Ravens last year. And after Jones? Tandon Doss and David Reed. Who? Exactly.

Ed Dickson is actually a solid tight end and showed flashes of being good in 2011, but fell behind the superior Dennis Pitta on the depth chart last season. Pitta was one of Joe Flacco’s favorite targets before his season-ending injury, so Flacco will have to try and rekindle some chemistry with Dickson. But that’s the least of the Ravens’ problems.

The biggest issue for Baltimore is the fact that they made Joe Flacco the highest paid player in the history of the NFL.

I mean, seriously, look at how dumb his mustache is. Ever since the day that his new contract was announced, I’ve been convinced that I’m living in a dream and the world isn’t real. Nothing seems right anymore. Up is down and left is right.

I don’t want to get too detailed about why his contract is complete horse shit and letting solid players walk so that they could meet Joe Flacco’s absurdly high demands was a terrible idea. Instead, I’ll just give you a list — in no particular order — of quarterbacks that I’d rather have as my team’s starting quarterback than Joe Flacco:

1. Tom Brady
2. Drew Brees
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Peyton Manning
5. Eli Manning
6. Tony Romo
7. Matt Ryan
8. Robert Griffin III
9. Ben Roethlisberger
10. Andrew Luck
11. Russell Wilson
12. Colin Kaepernick
13. Cam Newton
14. Philip Rivers

I know, I know. Wilson, Kaep, Luck, and RGIII are too young. Rivers is too old. Big Ben gets injured too much. But Flacco is a mediocre quarterback and he has a stupid mustache and I would take each and every one of those guys over him for those two reasons alone.

Why you might not be screwed: The Ravens somehow managed to improve their defense this offseason despite the Flacco contract. They lost Lewis, Reed, Pollard, Ellerbe, and Kruger. But they signed Elvis Dumervil, Michael Huff, Chris Canty, and Marcus Spears. Their first two draft picks were safety Matt Elam and linebacker Arthur Brown, both of whom should see playing time this season. Oh, Lardarius Webb is coming back too. The Ravens defense got younger and it got better. They also don’t have any murderers on the team for the first time in a long time, so that’s really good.

Actual season prediction: 10-6, second in the AFC North behind the Bengals with a wild-card playoff spot. They might win a playoff game or two, but they won’t be repeating this year.

Read the rest of our Pretty Much Screwed previews here.

Photos via Getty Images and ESPN

  • .

    Tony fucking Romo? Don’t quit your day job, Berger…

  • juststfualready

    What kind of horseshit is this?

    Do you even watch sports? Fucking hacks.

  • pig

    Is this even a real thing? Really?!? WTF did I just somewhat browse through? Dude, you are a fucking joke.

  • Zach Berger

    Shit. I did already.

  • Zach Berger

    Barely. I mostly watch the Food Network and Disney Channel.

  • Zach Berger

    Thanks for reading, pig.

  • Matt

    you lost all credibility after uttering Phillip Rivers name

  • Brandon Jenkins

    He had that mustcahce last season

  • kirkesque

    Zach Berger is a fantasy football superstar. I suppose he should be glad of that because his writing and reporting skills—as well as his tenuous grasp upon building and managing an actual football team—are terrible.

    As has been stated below… Berger shouldn’t quit his day job. Whatever that is.

  • Zach Berger

    I’m actually not good at fantasy football either. I don’t really have much going for me.

  • Rants N Ravens

    Last time I checked Flacco outplayed #1, #4, #5, #6, #10, #12, and #14 on your list all on his way to a Super Bowl MVP. Thanks for playing though…

  • .,.

    Oh dear, you even tweeted about his mustache trying to be funny! That was last season buddy…try doing your job.

  • Slim Charles

    Why even waste your time writing this crap? Zach Burger is butt hurt because Flacco had one of the top 3 – if not the best ever – postseasons by a Quarterback in history. But yeah, he’s terrible…

  • Slim Charles

    ps. chest hair isn’t the only thing that Zach Berger has in common with Rin Tin Tin.

    He’s got a fucking dog face.

  • Whatdidthatwriterjustsay

    So a team that makes the playoffs again, and according to the writer perhaps wins two playoff games, is screwed? If a team wins two playoff games they are at the least in the top 8 in the league. Why is that screwed? This writer is a screwball.

  • Zach Berger

    Did you just steal an old Norm MacDonald joke?

  • Zach Berger

    It’s a series. You should check it out. Thanks for reading.

  • Zach Berger

    My butt doesn’t hurt the slightest bit.

  • sam

    dude. Basicaly baltimore lost 2 players. One of which they decided not to keep. Boldin is 34 years old. Basicaly they lost pitta. They have the best 1-2 running back punch in football and as for flacco, he’s got the clutch gene. He’s basically a better version of eli manning who’s stats are worse.

  • andrew

    You obviously no nothing about football. Flacco’s salary cap hit is 6.8 million this year. We lost one player we wanted to resign……ellerbe. kruger is not worth 40 million. And keep hating on joe. He had the best post season performance an nfl quarterback cpuld have. His name is next to Montana’s. Enough said. Why wouldn’t they give him the biggest contract in history? Who else would they have run the offense? He is only guaranteed 56 million. He has a better post season record then every qb on your list minus brady….who by the way he outplayed 2 years in a row now in head to head matchups. Your article is pathetic at best but good try

  • Fredwalks

    LOLLLLLLLLL dumb article, no legitimate stats. Usual “ravens weren’t supposed to win/Everything is Flacco’s fault/They lost too many people to be good” uneducated crap. Read some news idiot.

  • sportsfan

    What a horrible waste of time reading this. The writer needs to go back to school. If he ever did…

  • Doug Jones

    That is the most pathetic list ever. Flacco has 9 playoff wins. More than matt ryan, rivers, brees, and romo combined. He has more playoff wins than eli manning, and aaron Rodgers. Same as peyton actually. He has clutch gene you look at numbers to damn much and not wins.
    Your a joke. The article is title pretty much screwed but you predict they will make playoffs and maybe win a game or two. what a horrible article.

  • armafacts

    For blasting everything about the Ravens, you still have them making the Playoffs? And winning a “playoff game or two”? Joe Flacco = no respect, just wins.

  • RavensFan#1

    Actually, thw whole team is full of murderers….we killed everybody last year! #Champions

  • Adam

    LOL look at all these Ravens fans coming to the defense of the most overpaid NFL player ever. The writing is on the wall, meatheads. Forget your 1-and-done title run, that contract of his will fuck up your team’s cap space for years to come.

    Keep this up, and you’ll soon be sitting at the top of the Douchiest Fans list. Those Jets fans are starting to look over their shoulders.

  • Eric Goldschein

    I’ll admit, this got me.

  • kirkesque

    You’re a consistent talentless putz. Combined with your evident aggressive mediocrity, you may one day get a job at a more worthwhile online dumpster.

  • steelers nation

    I started reading this and started thinking this guy might have a point but then he lost me with the fantasy qb list which means nothing. All I know is I saw a dominant off carry an aged but mediocre def. I would say maybe 3 or 4 players on your list are legtimately better. All the other qbs are very good but realistically are not ready or past their prime. I will save this article and read it again once 3/4 of the listed qbs are eliminated from the playoffs and Joes still playing.

  • Aaron

    If the Ravens winning a playoff game or two but not making the Superbowl is screwed I’ll take it.

  • No

    You do realize that he cut that mustache over a year ago? Also only stupid teams keep their championship squad in tact after a superbowl. You must be a fan of one

  • No

    He isn’t even the highest paid player ever… educate yourself before you start ranting on a subject you aren’t familar with. Oh and i hate the Ravens

  • jpugs

    Pretty much screwed? I feel that describes anyone who wasting time reading this nonsense. How does such an uninformed and biased troll get an article? Articles like this makes me think Sports Grid is going after the Skip Bayless crowd.

  • rmac

    stupidest thing i’ve ever read, making the playoffs and winning a game or two is not screwed at all, still makes them a legit team that has a chance. you doubt Flacco yet he had an amazing playoffs this year and nobody can deny that.

  • Mr hinsenburg

    How blind are you? No QB on that list has made it to the playoffs each and every time after there first season but joe flaco, stat wise he way out did Brady during the AFC championship game, and romo are you fucking kidding me he is possibly the worst QB in nfl history. I have two questions for you have you ever played football in pee wee high school or college if not then shut up you don’t know what you are talking about and second how did you like our preseason game of slaughter last night not only do we look good we look damn good all and all great performance from the newbies. Am I worried about this season answer hell no

  • JackHarrison

    How do you know we don’t have a murderer on the team this year, douchebag?

  • TedLivingston

    I can’t tell if all these upset fans are being serious…or joking….it’s obvious that some of this is satire and just laugh at it and move on. Who cares what some guy thinks on the internet about your team? You just won the goddam super bowl! Just laugh and enjoy it.

  • Ravens suk ass

    A few months later and he is wrong the shit birds arent even making the playoffs greatest fluke of a superbowl ever hahahaha enjoy fluko for years idiot ravens fans

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