Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Season Preview: 2007 Baltimore Ravens

Editor's Note: Check out Doubt About It's previous season preview on the 2007 Cleveland Browns

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a strong 2006 season, capped off by an AFC North title and a trip to the AFC Divisional Playoff round. On paper, they look formidable.

Led by Head Coach Brian Billick, the Ravens have most of the ingredients for another deep run into the playoffs. A solid veteran QB in Steve McNair, a strong running game that should be better with the addition of Willis McGahee, and a stout defense led by LB Ray Lewis and S Ed Reed. But as anyone knows, anything can happen in the NFL. So let's take a look at how the Ravens season will go in 2007 after the jump.

WEEK 2- vs. New York Jets

Disaster strikes in the Ravens locker room as QB Steve McNair can’t locate his bottle of Geritol. No Geritol equals no McNair, so backup QB Kyle Boller is pressed into action. Although arrogant, Ravens head coach Brian Billick isn’t stupid. He does the smart thing and takes the ball out of Boller’s hands, instead punting on first down every drive. As a kid, I used to do the same when I played against the computer in Tecmo Bowl. Difference is, I did it to give myself a challenge, not because my QB stunk. Baltimore manages to keep the game scoreless, but then a 99 yard drive featuring 99 one yard passes by noodle-armed Jets QB Chad Pennington does them in. Jets win 7-0.

WEEK 5- @ San Francisco

Still no Geritol for McNair. Billick gets tired of punting on first down, so he replaces Boller with rookie QB Troy Smith. Here’s LB Ray Lewis, seconds after getting the news:

Unfortunately, Lewis’s elation results in an injured groin and he is forced to miss the contest. Even worse, Smith decides to re-enact his stellar performance in the 2007 National Championship game, going 4-14 for 35 yards, 0 TD’s and 1 INT. The 49ers go on to win 21-3. The backup combination of Boller and Smith is so bad that after the game, Billick is overheard telling GM Ozzie Newsome to “get a real quarterback, someone like Kordell Stewart.”

WEEK 9- @ Pittsburgh

Steve McNair is back. Ray Lewis is back. Because of a rash of injuries at the defensive tackle position, the Ravens even decide to bring Tony Siragusa back. The bad news is that the theme for the Ravens pre-game meal this week is Mexican. Do you know what this means?

Siragusa’s flatulence causes all sorts of problems for the Ravens middle linebackers who line up right behind him. This opens up all kinds of holes for Willie Parker, who runs for 425 yards and 5 TD’s. Steelers roll 35-0.

WEEK 12- @ San Diego

Ray Lewis has his finest game of the season. He continuously “knifes” into the backfield, “cutting” down Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson. He also manages to knock San Diego QB Philip Rivers out of the game with a “punctured” lung. He puts his tackling skills on display, “slicing” through blocks to get to the ball carrier. Yet the Ravens lose by the “razor thin” margin of 14-13. After the game, Lewis gets into a black limo that speeds off.

WEEK 14- vs. Indianapolis

With the Ravens at 3-11, Billick figures it can’t get much worse. He benches McNair and gives Boller a legit shot at running the offense. That means the QB matchup in this game is Peyton Manning vs. Kyle Boller. This is like Mike Tyson in his prime vs. a 10-year old boy.

On the first three drives, Baltimore’s O sputters as Boller throws 3 INT’s. As retaliation, the Ravens offensive line refuses to block Colts DE Dwight Freeney, who goes on to set the single game sack record with 31 sacks. After the game, Boller is presented with his new jersey:

There's no "O" in Boller

WEEK 17- vs. Pittsburgh

At this point, the Ravens season is a lost cause. They get trampled by the Steelers 45-0. After the season, wholesale changes are made. The most important change is at QB, where McNair, Boller, and Smith are all released. Then, with the #2 pick in the draft, the Ravens select QB Anthony Morelli from Penn St. This insures many more years of terrible QB play in Baltimore, and actually just might make Ravens fans long for the days of Kyle Boller (if that’s even possible.)

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