After ten weeks of football in the NFL this year, everyone seems surprised that the Ravens are not on top of the AFC North. Granted, they were good last year, but how can that surprise anyone. There are two big reasons why I feel that the Ravens are not a surprise team:
Talent: The Ravens have always had a top defense, as everyone knows. Its been like that for years, but just take a look at the defense. The emotional leader, Ray Lewis, is getting old. He is growing older bringing his abilities down, as happens with every player. This murderer is still scary, mainly because he is a murderer, but also because he was so damn good. People need to realize that he is no where near what he was six or seven years ago. They have an average at best running back in Willis Mcgahee. Despite claiming that he was the best back in the league, he has never put up top numbers in his career. Everyone on the line is either too old or too young. They have no player that deserves to be a quarterback in the league right now. They have never had a great offense, and this year is no exception.
Injuries: The defense has struggled because of a couple of players missing. With Samari Rolle and Chris McCallister out, the secondary is weak. Ed Reed, although he is one of the best safeties in the league, he can't do anything by himself, especially when he takes the hit of a lifetime from a wide receiver. Jonathon Ogden's body has become weak, and there is no surprise with him missing so much time. But the key to any team is the quarterback, Steve McNair in this case. He has had tons of injuries in his career, including multiple groin injuries. He is old anyway, and he was basicly playing on adrenaline last year. He only did well to prove the Titans wrong, and he couldn't do anything right in the playoffs against the Colts.
In the end, everything with a team comes down to the quarterback. If you don't have a quality player at the spot, you can never expect to compete. McNair should have retired long ago if he didn't want to embarass himself. You can say that the groin injury has something to do with it, but your groin can never make you fumble the ball when you move your hand. McNair's embarassing season is no surprise, therefore the Ravens are no surprise either.