There's so much that appears to be right with the Ravens.
While the loss of Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Jarret Johnson (free agency) may result in the defense taking a step back, the offense is more than capable of compensating by scoring more points.
All signs point to the offense taking more chances to get touchdowns, particularly in the red zone, rather than settling for field goals.
Linebackers Paul Kruger and Albert McClellan have to fill the void. Kruger admitted a few weeks ago, after having an interception slip through his hands as he undercut a route by Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew, that he has to be a game-changer.
But an area where the Ravens have to especially tighten up is special teams. While they have the talent to return kicks with Jacoby Jones and Lardarius Webb -- rookies Asa Jackson, Deonte Thompson and Bobby Rainey received work there, too -- the coverage has shown leaks.
Too often in the preseason the Ravens would score and then relinquish good field position on the kickoff. They allowed 25.7 yards per kick return. On punts, they allowed 12 yards per return. There even were penalties that erased a touchdown return by Jackson and ruined a lengthy one by Thompson.
The responsibility to fix it falls on special teams coach Jerry Rosburg, who already lost Emanuel Cook in coverage for the season to a broken leg.
In close division races, such as the one the San Diego Chargers lost out on to the Kansas City Chiefs two seasons ago, the nuances can be the difference-maker as much as any player. It's no different in the AFC North with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the emerging Cincinnati Bengals.
The Chargers went 9-7 and missed the playoffs by one game in 2010. They allowed four touchdowns on kick and punt returns, including a 99-yard return in the fourth quarter that cost them a victory vs. the Seattle Seahawks and two weeks later two blocked punts resulted in a loss to the Oakland Raiders.
Overlook special teams and get left behind.