Living in the Shadow of Rex

On Tuesday morning ESPN released their annual NFL pre-season picks for each team based on division. Fourteen analysts were asked to rank every squad and determine what they believe the final standings will look like.

Not at all surprisingly, the overwhelming opinion among the analysts participating is that the Steelers will finish 1st in the AFC North, followed by the Ravens, then the Bengals, and finally, the Browns (it’s worth noting that only Sean Wickersham of ESPN the Magazine had the Ravens 3rd and the Bengals 2nd).

Taking a moment to reflect on the various rationales for placing the Ravens 2nd in the division, there appears to be one overwhelmingly constant theme. Apparently, most pundits believe the Ravens will be decidedly weaker without long time Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan at the helm.

Do you think that the loss of Rex Ryan (or Bart Scott for that matter) will substantially impact the Ravens’ defense?

Based on historical trends with Baltimore’s consistently dominant unit, there is no reason to buy into the doomsayer’s theory that the defense will be any worse for wear without Rex, Bart, or even Jimmy Leonard.

When Marvin Lewis left for the Redskins, the unit survived and was made stronger under Mike Nolan. When Mike Nolan left, the unit survived and was made stronger by Rex Ryan. Rex is gone now, and Greg Mattison is a solid and capable coach with a strong track record of dominance.

The Ravens defense will carry on as it always has, and when it is time for Greg to move on, I suppose we can expect to hear the same prophecies of Armageddon.

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2 Responses to “Living in the Shadow of Rex”

  1. […] Preview: AFC South NFL Predictions 2009 Living in the Shadow of Rex 2009 NFL Predictions LOTD: Why The Pittsburgh Steelers and Their Fans […]

  2. Allen says:

    We will see when the ravens dominate KC here on Sunday 🙂

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