Thursday, 07 February 2013 17:00
Super Bowl champions haven’t come close to repeating in recent year. The last two Steelers championship teams didn’t even make the playoffs the next year. It looks like the Baltimore Ravens will face similiar problems.
By Jamison Hensley, ESPN.com
NEW ORLEANS -- The face of the franchise is gone. The schedule is tougher. But those aren't the only changes for the Baltimore Ravens in 2013. If the Ravens become the first repeat Super Bowl champions in eight years, they will likely do it with a younger team.
In addition to linebacker Ray Lewis playing his last game, others who might have played their final one for the Ravens include safety Ed Reed, wide receiver Anquan Boldin, center Matt Birk, offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie and nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu. This means the Ravens will rely more heavily on a core of players in the primes of their careers, from quarterback Joe Flacco to wide receiver Torrey Smith to guard Marshal Yanda to defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
Even if the Ravens lose Reed along with Lewis, the defense gets back cornerback Lardarius Webb and linebacker Jameel McClain, two starters who didn't play in the Super Bowl because of injuries. The Ravens will also have a healthier Terrell Suggs.
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