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Last year, in this space, someone gazed into a crystal football, went game by game and predicted a 10-6 season for the Ravens (correctly picking 12 of the 16 outcomes).
As you might recall, they went 10-6.
The year before, the prediction was 12-4. And they went 12-4.
Detecting a trend? Let's do it again.
Remember, this is for entertainment purposes only. (Disclaimer to put our legal team at ease: This is not an inducement to gambling, this newspaper can not be held responsible for monetary losses incurred by following this ordinarily sage advice, past performance does not predict future results, and, of course, actual mileage may vary.)
The season starts Thursday. Here's how it will go.
Week 1: Back at the site of the best game of last year's postseason, things are a bit different. First, it's a tad warmer. Second, Peyton Manning is able to throw the ball down the field. Broncos 27, Ravens 20.
Week 2: The Browns are better this year. But the Ravens are playing their first regular-season home game since winning the Super Bowl. And they're mad after last week. Ravens 46, Browns 7.
Week 3: The Ravens honor Ray Lewis before the game. During the game he comes off the sideline in street clothes to make a tackle, then runs over to Ed Reed and starts dancing. Ravens 24, Texans 20.
Week 4: Who'll be playing quarterback for the Bills by Week 4? Jeff Tuel? Matt Leinart? E.J. Manual? Jim Kelly? Joe Ferguson? Jack Kemp? Actually, does it really matter? Ravens 38, Bills 14.
Week 5: With big games looming against Green Bay and Pittsburgh, the Ravens treat their trip to Miami like a preseason game, leaving Joe Flacco and Ray Rice behind. Oops. Dolphins 23, Ravens 17.
Week 6: It's a matchup of two of the past three Super Bowl winners. Not to mention two of the three highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers earns his money on this day. Packers 37, Ravens 31.
Week 7: These aren't your father's Steelers. Or even your older brother's. These are maybe the worst Steelers since Bubby Brister was playing quarterback 25 years ago. Ravens 21, Steelers 17.
Week 8: A bye week just in time for Halloween. The only prediction is that multiple players show up for the team party wearing Cam Cameron masks.
Week 9: The Ravens rarely lose coming off a bye week. And they even more rarely lose to Cleveland. Playing not far from where Jonathan Ogden is enshrined, they roll. Ravens 27, Browns 13.
Week 10: The two best teams in the AFC North meet in Baltimore. The Bengals thought they took some "Hard Knocks" during training camp, but nothing like this. Ravens 27, Bengals 10.
Week 11: The Ravens leave the Eastern Time Zone for the first time since Week 1. Unfortunately, their internal clocks cause them to stop playing one hour early. Bears 23, Ravens 20.
Week 12: Rex Ryan has some pretty good history in M&T Bank Stadium. Unfortunately for him and the Jets, he'll be fired long before Week 12. At least he won't have to witness this massacre. Ravens 49, Jets 3.
Week 13: The traditional Turkey Day nightcap pits the Ravens and Steelers in a rematch. Ravens fans give thanks the likes of James Harrison, Mike Wallace and Casey Hampton are gone. Ravens 30, Steelers 21.
Week 14: The Ravens utilize the unconventional "11 men in the box" defense to stop Adrian Peterson. Christian Ponder still can't complete any passes. Ravens 24, Vikings 13.
Week 15: Baltimore's secondary includes no one who can cover Megatron. But Detroit's offensive line has no one who can stop the rush of Suggs, Dumervil & Co. Ravens 20, Lions 17.
Week 16: The Ravens absolutely owned the Patriots last year, beating them in Baltimore during the regular season and in Foxborough in the AFC title game. Tom Brady hasn't forgotten. Patriots 35, Ravens 21.
Week 17: The Ravens once again finish in Cincinnati. They finish with consecutive losses one year after losing four of five to close it out. The poor finish didn't hurt them last year. Bengals 20, Ravens 14.
It all adds up to a 10-6 season, same as last year, and, in all likelihood, a sixth consecutive playoff berth.
Will the postseason end the same as last year? Sorry, you'll have to wait four months for postseason predictions.

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