As the Ravens prepare for the second half of their season, here are five career milestones within reach:
1. John Harbaugh can become the Ravens’ all-time winningest coach.
Harbaugh has 74 regular-season victories, closing in on Brian Billick (80). The Ravens would love to see Harbaugh pass Billick because that would mean the Ravens going either 7-1 or 8-0 the rest of the way.
2. Elvis Dumervil can reach 100 career sacks.
It’s going to be tough for Dumervil, who has 92 ½ career sacks, but just 2 ½ this year. No player has been more significantly impacted by the loss of Terrell Suggs (torn Achilles) than Dumervil. Opponents are free to double-team Dumervil without fear of paying the price. The Ravens hope to devise more schemes in the second half that create one-on-one matchups for Dumervil. If he reaches 100 sacks this season, the Ravens’ pass rush will be a problem for quarterbacks.
3. Joe Flacco can have his first 4,000-yard season.
Flacco is on pace to break 4,000, with 2,176 passing yards. But this is a double-edged sword. Surpassing 4,000 yards for Flacco would means the Ravens’ passing attack didn’t disappear without Steve Smith (torn Achilles), who is done for the year. However, the Ravens are 4-6 the last 10 times Flacco has thrown for more than 300 yards. The Ravens need to throw the ball when they want to, not because they’re behind and have to throw.
4. Daryl Smith can surpass 100 tackles for the third consecutive year.
That’s something Smith has never done. But with 76 tackles already, tied for third most in the NFL, Smith should race past 100 tackles if he stays healthy. Hard to believe Smith has never played in a Pro Bowl at inside linebacker, considering the 12-year career he has put together.
“It’s crazy,” said Dumervil. “He’s a remarkable player. I remember being in Denver watching him, and I was a fan of his at that time. He’s a great athlete, great teammate. He does a lot of special things for us. It is pretty sad that he doesn’t get more recognition.”
5. Justin Forsett can have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for the first time.
Forsett (562 yards) is 10th in the league in rushing, and has 17 carries of at least 10 yards, tying Giovani Bernard of the Bengals for fifth-most in the league. At age 30, Forsett still has quickness and speed, and the offensive line wants to make sure Forsett gets his 1,000. He should if he stays healthy.
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