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Hunter2_1

Contenders or Pretenders?

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On 10/25/2020 at 10:53 AM, Jakuvious said:

So, this might be a terrible hot take, and I can only imagine the backlash I'll get here, but am I crazy for not being sold on Baltimore right now? I just can't shake this thought that they're basically built to beat the crap out of bad and/or poorly coached football teams, but they won't reach the same peak against higher level football teams, between Lamar's playstyle on offense and the blitz heavy defense. Maybe Yannick changes the latter, but even if he improves the vanilla pass rush, I'm not sure he'll change the defensive philosophy, and that aggressive kind of blitzing is always going to be oppressive against young QBs and struggling offenses like Cincy and Washington, but that's never been the way to stop higher level QBs. On offense I don't think they've looked as good running the football with someone not named Lamar Jackson, and the pass game still lacks consistency. And right now, their strength of schedule is basically identical to what we've seen Pittsburgh criticized for, with the only exception that they played KC, but they lost pretty convincingly, so I'm not sure that's a good thing. Because otherwise, both teams beat Houston and Cleveland, had a surprisingly close victory over Philly, beat up one more NFC East team (Washington for Balt, NYG for Pitt), and one other lower level AFC team (Cincy for Balt, Denver for Pitt.)

Now, they do get tested after the bye, with a 5 game run against several of the better teams in the AFC, so this may be proved entirely wrong. If they have a post-bye run like they did last year, of convincing wins against good football teams around the league, that'll dramatically change what I said above. But right now, I'm not nearly impressed as I was last year with what they've been doing. They look less dominant despite playing mostly crap competition, IMO.

Well while I do agree that the offense needs to sharpen up before the playoffs the Ravens defense alone makes them a contender. With Yannick now in the fold Wink Martindale doesn't have to blitz so much do get pressure on the quarterback which means we don't need to leave the back end exposed to the elite qb's in the league to exploit. This Sundays game against Pittsburgh is a biggie and I feel like the Ravens will be ready for the challenge. 

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Tier 1 Contenders: Chiefs, Ravens, Seahawks, Steelers

Tier 2 Contenders: Titans, Packers, Buccaneers

Tier 1 Pretenders: Cardinals, Bills, Saints, Rams, 49ers

Tier 2 Pretenders: Browns, Colts, Bears 

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the Cardinals, Bills, Saints, Bears, Rams are the most interesting for me

Bucs are going up up up

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I don't even know if I would put the Seahawks in the Contenders category. Yes their offense is fire but not sure it's enough. 
Their defense is just atrocious and the scheme won't change for sure. If there's any trades I don't think it will make a big difference either.
If the O stalls just for one game then it's over for the team

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5 hours ago, MagicMT said:

I don't even know if I would put the Seahawks in the Contenders category. Yes their offense is fire but not sure it's enough. 
Their defense is just atrocious and the scheme won't change for sure. If there's any trades I don't think it will make a big difference either.
If the O stalls just for one game then it's over for the team

I agree they are significantly flawed, but I can't place another NFC ahead of them at the moment, so hard to avoid calling them contenders. 

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I love how much people critique teams all year. 

Once the winning team wins the SB all their issues just melt away and all that bs drops cause even the best and SB winning teams lose and have a number of flaws if you look hard enough.  That's just normal.  Only a few teams over the years perhaps people felt all season like there was a consensus #1 team through and through that was like 90% sure they were going win it all and then actually do.

It's always a bumpy ride to the top.

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