Baltimore Ravens – Season 2013 review

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Having easily won a grudge match against the New England Patriots 28-13 in the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl which resulted into a 34-31 win, the Baltimore Ravens ended the 2012 on a high having finished the season as the NFL’s final four. However, like many recent Super Bowl champions, the Ravens couldn’t replicate the same the following season and didn’t even come close to a playoff win. 2013 was seen as a disappointment which saw them drop from 10-6 to just 8-8.

Justin Tucker was at the heart of the Ravens’ offense. His every field goal contributed greatly to the team’s biggest display during the 18-16 victory over the Detroit Lions in a game that he also kicked the 4th longest field goal in NFL history. He had a season-high 38 field goals having missed only three a record that saw him named 1st team All-Pro, making the only Raven player to receive such an honor this year.

Michael Huff had an ill-fitted stint at Baltimore and was benched in his 1st game in favor of a rookie. His poor performance in the 49-27 loss to Denver Broncos saw him missing tackles in a game that he was totally dominated by Peyton Manning who tied the NFL record for passing touchdowns in September. For a rookie, Marlon Brown had meaningful playing time during the 2013 season from an impressive pre-season showing and eventually earning a starting spot ahead of the injured Jacob Jones. He had a total of 49 catches, 524 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns and greatly helped the Baltimore Ravens at a time when Dennis Pitta was injured and Anquan Boldin had left.

Jimmy Smith had disappointing first-two seasons but made a great comeback and featured as one of the biggest players in the Baltimore Raven’s Super Bowl win. He shined during Graham’s struggles using his natural size and displaying better coverage abilities. He was also one of the NFL’s greatest receivers during the 2013 season with 2 of his best performances coming against Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall both of whom were top 5 receivers in 2013.

Where Joe Flacco underperformed with a career worst 22 interceptions and Ray Rice with only a single 100-yard rushing game all year, Torrey Smith excelled as an offensive player. Though his 4 touchdowns were somehow lacking, as a receiver he racked up large yardage totals and also led the team with 65 receptions and 1,128 yards. A free agent acquisition, Daryl Smith was also at the forefront of the Baltimore Ravens defense with 2013 being the best season in his career. He led the team with 123 tackles, 5 sacks, 3 ball pick-ups and scored one defensive touchdown. Smith was much improved than the aging Lewis particularly in pass defense.

Though the Baltimore Ravens went of a four game winning streak in December, 3 wins came by the thinnest possible margins. And having finished the 2013 season at 8-8 and missed the playoffs, it was a disappointing season by a defending Super Bowl Champion ever. They lost close games because of giving up big plays or failing to score big plays.

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