Can the Ravens Repeat?By Daniel J.
It’s only been a few days since the Baltimore Ravens became Super Bowl champions, but of course, there’s already talk about the possibility for them to repeat. Earning back-to-back championships is an extremely rare thing, especially in the ultra-competitive NFL. It’s been done just seven times in the history of the league and the last team to do it was the Patriots, winning titles in 2003 and 2004. So, unfortunately for the Ravens, the odds are already against them.
However, some odds makers certainly think the Ravens have a decent chance to make it two in a row. Bovada, for example, has the Ravens at 14/1 to win the Super Bowl next season, but there other teams ranked ahead of the Ravens in futures who are very capable of dashing any hope of a repeat.
First, there’s the team that the Ravens just defeated, the 49ers. San Francisco will be locked and loaded next season with basically the same squad that wowed spectators and viewers alike during its impressive playoff run. Colin Kaepernick emerged as a true star, but as he enters his third season in the league – first full season as a starter – he could get even better. Now that’s scary.
Then there’s the Broncos, another team that fell to Baltimore. The Broncos have a young, speedy defense and Peyton Manning. That’s about all that needs to said there.
And of course, the other usual suspects will certainly present themselves as contenders again, as the Packers, Patriots Texans and Falcons should all have strong teams in 2013.
However, with the way they played this postseason, the Ravens deserve to be in that company and in the conversation.
Although the Ravens are losing their emotional leader and the best player their franchise has ever had in Ray Lewis, they are still returning a team that is more than capable of winning another championship. By throwing 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions during the playoffs, Joe Flacco established himself as one of the true elite quarterbacks in the NFL and the defense proved that it can stop the league’s best offenses when the game is on the line.
The Ravens certainly aren’t the youngest team in the league, but they also weren’t even at full strength for most of this season. Star cornerback Lardarius Webb was lost for the season early on and Ray Lewis missed the second half due to injury as well.
The Ravens most of the pieces in place for long term success. They have big-game receivers, strong tight ends, a solid ground attack and an experienced coaching staff. And who’s to say they can’t pick up a couple of key defensive players this offseason or in the draft?
Are the Ravens the odds on favorite to repeat? No. History and the slew of other worthy teams say otherwise. But can they repeat? Without out a doubt. They got plenty of lucky breaks this postseason, but the same goes for any team that wins the Super Bowl. Everything has to go your way at the right time and that could certainly happen again for the Ravens. I like the Ravens at 14/1. You are getting decent value for a team that has a more than decent chance to win it all again.