In the 13 days leading up to July 27th, when the Green Bay Packers begin training camp practices, APC is running a series we’re calling “13 in 13.” Over these two weeks, we will closely with a close examination of the major offseason events for each of the Packers’ 2017 opponents. Each team’s information has been provided by our SB Nation colleagues who know them best - the team bloggers for each franchise.
Following the Packers’ week nine game against the Detroit Lions, they go to Chicago for a rematch with the Bears before returning home to face their second AFC North opponent of the year, the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore finished 8-8 last season and in second place behind the Pittsburgh Steelers in their division. In a surprising trend, the Ravens led the NFL in passing attempts while finishing just 30th in rushes — not the breakdown you would expect to see from a franchise that has been built around a strong defense and running game.
The Ravens and Packers last met in 2013, when Green Bay won in Baltimore by a 19-17 score.
Here’s a look at the Ravens’ offseason from the folks at Baltimore Beatdown.
Notable free agent additions: S Tony Jefferson, WR Jeremy Maclin, CB Brandon Carr, RB Danny Woodhead, CB Brandon Boykin, DT Brandon Williams (re-signed), DB Lardarius Webb
Notable free agent departures: WR Steve Smith Sr., ILB Zachary Orr (retirement), RT Ricky Wagner, OLB Elvis Dumervil, FB Kyle Juszczyk, WR Kamar Aiken, FS Kendrick Lewis, CB Shareece Wright, DE Lawrence Guy, CB Jerraud Powers
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:
CB Marlon Humphrey -- Wasn’t expected to contribute with the defensive back overhaul this offseason, but the tradition of losing a cornerback before training camp once again struck the Ravens in the form of an ACL tear to star-in-the-making cornerback, Tavon Young. Now, Humphrey will be either outside at #2, or pushed inside the slot, depending upon his competition with Brandon Carr and Maurice Canady.
OLB Tyus Bowser: An outside linebacker with the all the athletic gifts of a pass rushing terror. His speed, power and agility can help bring about pressure from any Raven not named Terrell Suggs. He may find reps as an inside backer, with Zachary Orr’s leave and Kamalei Correa’s status up-in-the-air.
OLB Tim Williams: An Alabama linebacker on the Ravens, another tradition Baltimore loves. Williams stock fell heavily during the draft, from expected Ravens first round pick to third round. He’ll fit in nicely as a third down specialist.
OL Nico Siragusa: Baltimore currently is missing two pieces to their offensive line, and Marshal Yanda can’t do everything. If Baltimore moves Alex Lewis to right tackle, Nico has a shot at starting. If they keep James Hurst at right tackle, he’ll be fighting for a backup spot.
Biggest offseason addition:
Tony Jefferson is undoubtedly the biggest addition, though the re-signing of Brandon Williams is a close second. Eric Weddle is praising his partner, Jefferson, already. The Ravens with two dominant safeties won’t be fun to play against, especially with both top five in run-stop ability. Dean Pees will hopefully use creativity to unlock their true potential.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp:
Baltimore has a plethora of stories this offseason, but Zachary Orr’s return from retirement is #1.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:
The Ravens defensive signings have been completely overshadowed by the signing of Jeremy Maclin. Yes, it’s exciting to see the Ravens get a receiver, but Baltimore spent almost $120 million this offseason on defensive players.
Notable injuries heading into training camp:
CB Tavon Young, TE Dennis Pitta
Suspensions: TE Darren Waller (1 year), RB Kenneth Dixon (4 games)