No longer do the Bengals need to worry about Ray Lewis in the middle of the field or the ball hawking Ed Reed in the secondary. Both are gone and it looked to leave some holes on the Ravens defense. However, one strength of the Ravens seems to be the defensive line. With a cast of characters like Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Haloti Ngata, Arthur Jones, Chris Canty and Pernell McPhee, the Ravens have a pretty scary defensive front.
New senior defensive assistant Steve Spagnuolo had this to say about his defense:
"I had little visions of the Giants' front that I happened to be privileged to be working with...
This is as good a looking football team that I've ever seen. I'm talking about physically and stout."
I have to agree the line looks scary, however it will be interesting to see if the line can be good enough to overcome what was lost from last years championship squad.
On the offensive side of the ball the Ravens are still led by Joe "Elite?" Flacco. Whether or not the guy is top whatever in the NFl is irrelevant. He has a heck of an arm and makes enough plays to allow the Ravens the opportuity to win the Super Bowl.
Ron Jaworski talks about Flacco's mechanics saying:
"Joe has the God-given talent to throw the football," Jaworski said. "Probably what people don't look at is the complete set of mechanics that it takes to throw the football with that kind of velocity. He sticks his cleats into the ground. He drives off his back foot. He's on balance, for the most part, on almost every throw. … When Joe has a clean pocket, his mechanics are outstanding."
Almost every NFL QB has the "God-given" talent. It is the mechanics that separates the good from the great. We debate the arm strength of our own QB Andy Dalton here often. To be fair, Dalton does not have close to the arm strength of Flacco. In the article it was mentioned that in the pre-draft workout, Flacco stood with his feet parallel and tossed the football 73 yds. That is insane.
The Bengals only shot to counter a QB like Flacco is to get to him and get him down. This is what the Bengals line was built for.