The Chatter

Ten Reasons We’re Stoked for Ravens Season

With a schedule front-loaded with division rivals, the first big game is this weekend's home opener.

Football season kicks off Sunday in South Baltimore for real—with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cincinnati Bengals who took our AFC North division title last year, coming to town. We are pumped after Ray Lewis’s fired-up speech during the unveiling of his statue Thursday in front of M&T Bank Stadium. We know the Ravens are ready, too—are you?

10 Reasons We Are Totally Stoked for This Season:

1. Okay, we mentioned this already, but the unveiling of the Ray Lewis statue—Ray in mid-dance for perpetuity—next to Johnny U. we enter M&T Bank Stadium. We only wish we had similar statues in front of our office.

2. In Ozzie We Trust: The Ravens GM drafted the young inside linebacker we needed, C.J. Mosley, signed the chain-moving slot receiver we needed, Steve Smith, and upgraded the offensive line. If Ozzie can perform another miracle and get our secondary healthy—we’ll be in great shape.

3. John Harbaugh-Joe Flacco. Every great football team always has a lasting head coach-quarterback pairing. Shula and Unitas. Lombardi and Starr. And sorry, Noll and Bradshaw and Belichick and Brady.

4. Weapons: Cool Joe will again have people to throw to this season after losing Anquan Boldin to free agency and Dennis Pitta to injury. With Pitta back at tight end and Smith replacing Boldin, plus Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown with another year under their belts—not to mention Jacoby Jones—the Ravens’s offense will be a lot more fun to watch this year.

5. The Steelers are rebuilding.

6. We host the Steelers a week from tonight—a special Thursday night game at M&T Bank Stadium. We will protect this house. And we will be late for work Friday.

7. We have the best kicker in the game and he’s an opera singer and his name is Justin Tucker. Our only question is when is this guy going to tackle the national anthem?

8. Gary Kubiak. WE LOVE THE OFFENSE. The Ravens have been terribly predictable, often grinding out tough wins with defense, special teams, and a commitment to the running game. But when the running game fell apart last year, we struggled to move the ball at all. Flacco looked smooth in the pre-season in the more efficient, quick-passing, diverse Kubiak scheme.

9. Fullback Kyle (however you pronounce his last name) Juszczyk. The second-year Harvard guy is going to catch a lot of passes this year out of the backfield. If he can block anything at all like Vonta Leach, expect a better year from the Ravens running backs.

10. We went 4-0 in the preseason. Hey, success breeds success. We know how to win Super Bowls, too.