The Baltimore Ravens are entering the 2016 NFL season looking to get back into AFC contention. Last season was a rough year full of injuries for the Ravens, but they fully believe that they will be back and will be serious threats in the playoff race. John Harbaugh has a very talented roster to work with assuming they remain healthy for the most part.
Joe Flacco went down early last season with a torn ACL while starting running back Justin Forsett also went down with a season-ending injury. Those two players are the keys to the Baltimore offense, which explains a big part of the Ravens' struggles last season.
Baltimore made a few moves throughout the course of the 2016 NFL offseason, but they will return most of the keys to their roster.
Looking ahead to the 2016 season, there are plenty of reasons why fans should get excited about the Ravens. Even though they aren't one of the most talked about teams in the league, they still have a great coach and an even greater mix of young talent and veteran players.
All of that being said, what five bold predictions can be made for the Ravens heading into the 2016 NFL season?
After going down with a broken arm last season, Justin Forsett is going to come back looking to prove a point. He will bust loose for a 1,000-yard season and will be one of the top backs in the NFL. Some believe that the Ravens will split carries with him and someone else, but that will change when he comes in and shows that he is back at full health.
Baltimore's Defense Will Be Top Five in Sacks
One strength for the Ravens has always been their ability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. That will be the case once again this season, and Baltimore's defense will end up being a top five defense when it comes to sacks. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil will lead the way, but they have other players who will chip in solid sack numbers as well.
Steve Smith Sr. Racks Up 1,250 Yards and 10 Touchdowns at Least
Last season was expected to be Steve Smith Sr.'s last season, but a torn Achilles shortened his season. He decided to play one more season, and he will play a huge role for the Ravens. Smith will rack up at least 1,250 yards and 10 touchdowns throughout the course of the season and will once again be a No. 1 option.
Coming back from an ACL tear isn't easy, but Joe Flacco will do so in dominant fashion. Flacco will return and throw for at least 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns throughout the 2016 season. Baltimore will need their star quarterback to step up in a big way to get back into AFC contention and he will do just that.
The Baltimore Ravens Will Win the AFC North Division Title
This is a very bold prediction with teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals having a lot of talent on their rosters as well. Baltimore will come out strong to start the season and will end up taking the AFC North division title. They have a lot to prove this season after last year's disappointment, and they will be able to prove themselves to their fan base once again.
Expect to see the Ravens compete for a playoff spot and surprise many fans and media analysts. They have the talent to make a run throughout the season, although everything will depend on health.
Do you think the Baltimore Ravens are serious contenders in the AFC this season? Where do you think they will finish in the AFC North division? Let us know in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Nick Wass]