As far as defending champions go, the 2013 Ravens were rather forgettable. Coming off of five consecutive postseason appearances and a dramatic Super Bowl victory, Baltimore struggled to an 8-8 record while failing to qualify for the playoffs for the first time under coach John Harbaugh's leadership. Life in a post-Ed Reed/Ray Lewis world was tougher than expected for the perennial contenders but not for the reasons one might expect. The Baltimore defense actually showed signs of improvement from 2012, while the offense struggled miserably in Joe Flacco's first season after signing a massive six-year contract. Flacco was inconsistent and certainly deserves some of the blame for a disappointing campaign, yet the bigger issue was the players surrounding him. An offensive line that was expected to be a point of strength instead turned into arguably the Ravens' biggest weakness. Making matters worse, Flacco lacked reliable targets to throw to, and t
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