As we digest Super Bowl 50, here are three views on the Super Bowl from a Ravens perspective:
1) Joe Flacco’s first Super Bowl went a lot better than Cam Newton’s.
Having a quarterback with Flacco’s big-game track record is a major reason the Ravens are in position to reload, not rebuild, if they make the right offseason moves. Newton had an MVP season, but disappointed on Sunday. Give the Broncos defense tremendous credit. But the way Newton chose not to dive while trying to recover his late-game fumble? The way he pouted at the post-game press conference? Compare that to Flacco not immediately taking himself out of the game after tearing his ACL and MCL in November. Or the way Flacco consistently stands front and center, answering questions from reporters in good times and bad times. Or Flacco’s 10-5 career postseason record, which includes a Super Bowl MVP. Newton is a terrific talent, and there may be Super Bowl wins in his future. But the Ravens don’t have to wonder if they have a quarterback who is unfazed by virtually any situation. Flacco gives the Ravens a chance to remain a dangerous playoff team, if they can upgrade their talent enough to get there.
2) How linebacker Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs recovers from his Achilles injury is a huge X-factor.
Asking Suggs to return as one of the NFL’s elite pass rushers is asking a lot, especially since he will turn 34 years old in October. But you saw what having bookend pass rushers like Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware did for the Broncos. If Suggs and linebacker Elvis Dumervil remain healthy and productive next season, the Ravens’ defense will be far better than if they don’t.
3) The Ravens must hope new secondary coach Leslie Frazier has a Wade Phillips-type impact.
Frazier is the latest former NFL head coach to join John Harbaugh’s staff. The decision by Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak to hire Wade Phillips as his offensive coordinator was an excellent decision that helped the Broncos’ defense gel into the NFL’s best. If Frazier’s arrival helps improve the team’s secondary play that would be a major step in improving their defense.