Preseason predictions are fun. But they’re often not accurate.
As the Ravens head into their bye, here’s a look at some of the top surprises of this season so far:
The question before the season started was whether Suggs would return at all this year. He seemed to be on the optimistic side by targeting November, but Suggs even beat his own projection and returned just more than five months after having surgery. Suggs came back as soon as he possibly could following a six-week stint on the physically unable to perform list. His speedy recovery – and high level of play after returning – has been one of the biggest shockers around the NFL.
The performance of
Tucker pulled off the biggest surprise in training camp, unseating veteran kicker Billy Cundiff. And while fans and media witnessed his big and accurate right foot throughout camp, few probably thought he would get off to such a strong start this season. Tucker has missed just one of his 15 attempts and has already set the team record for most 50-plus yard field goals in a season and tied the franchise record for the longest successful attempt (54 yards).
How far the defense has fallen so quickly
It was expected that the Ravens defense would have some troubles at the outset considering its reigning Defensive Player of the Year was out. But the fall to 26th in the NFL in average yards allowed per game (400), is drastic. The defense ranked third in the league last year in total defense. The unit has really struggled against the run (142.9 yards per game), an area where it has long prided itself on being one of the league’s best.
Secondary not among the league’s best
The problems against the run are more understandable considering Suggs was out and the front seven lost Jarret Johnson and Cory Redding. But the pass defense was predicted to be the unit’s backbone. Cornerback
The number of injuries to key players
Besides Suggs being out, the Ravens were relatively healthy for the first several weeks of the season. Their injury report was far shorter than their peers’. Then injuries came in bunches.
Offense didn’t cure its inconsistency issues
Pundits touted the progress of the offense this preseason, as quarterback
Emergence of rookie
The second-round pick has made an immediate impact. After essentially beating out