Late For Work 5/18: Ravens Yet To Make Playoff Three-Peat

Plus Gaither was present for passing camp and an interesting Draft factoid.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 at 9:02 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Ravens Yet To Make Playoff Three-Peat

The Ravens have never made the playoffs three years in a row.

But if they could make a run in 2010, a playoff three-peat would re-write Ravens history and would also mark the fourth time Baltimore would advance in the last five years.

That feat is still a long ways off, however, and the odds are against the purple and black.

As SI.com’s Peter King points out, for five straight years there’s been at least a 50-percent turnover in the playoff teams. Below is a list of the number of different teams that made the playoffs compared to the 12 that made it the year before:

2005: 7
2006: 7
2007: 6
2008: 7
2009: 6

 So the chances of back-to-back playoff berths (which Baltimore accomplished last year) are slim, let alone a three-peat.

Still, King believes the Ravens will be one of the 12 teams left standing come playoff time. In fact, the Ravens are listed third in his post-draft NFL rankings. The Ravens are behind the Packers and Chargers, and ahead of the Colts and Saints.

“I think the Ravens have hit a few home runs this offseason, and those moves could carry them to the AFC Championship Game,” King said. “I like the remake of their receiver corps. Anquan Boldin won’t make it through 16 games healthy, but he’ll give Joe Flacco a good, physical target for 12. Donte’ Stallworth will be reborn as an effective third or fourth wideout, with the speed at the position the Ravens haven’t had.

“On defense, I wish I saw something better at cornerback than waiting for Lardarius Webb to come back from knee surgery sometime this summer so that the starting corners opening day aren’t Chris Carr and Domonique Foxworth. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison obviously has to be hoping for it to be third- and-long so often (with a great run-stuffing front) that he doesn’t have to worry about the more than occasional coverage error downfield.”

An interesting side note…late last night a fan asked King if he thought Flacco could be a darkhorse MVP candidate.

“Wouldn’t call him a darkhorse,” the columnist replied. “If Ravens win 11 and he throws for 4200, he’ll be in race.”

It’s worth pointing out that Flacco believes throwing for more than 4,000 yards this year will be as easy as snapping his fingers.  If that is the case, this season should be fun.

Gaither Present For Start Of Passing Camp

Jared Gaither was at the Ravens’ practice facility for the start of passing camp yesterday, according to Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun.

However, Hensley couldn’t confirm if Gaither actually practiced.

That will change later today.  In a few hours, headlines across the web (including BaltimoreRavens.com) will give the latest on the Gaither saga because today’s practice will be open to all media.

Gaither was recently moved from left to right tackle and didn’t practice the final two days of the team’s first minicamp because of a foot injury. Gaither had an MRI and saw a specialist. The results of the test are unknown, but media will surely ask about it today. 

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only King…and Me

Let’s go ahead and dub this Peter King Day. Turns out he made a few interesting points about the Ravens in yesterday’s Monday Morning Quarterback.

In the past three Drafts, the Ravens have selected zero players from the University of Florida. King wonders if that fact has something to do with third year coach Greg Mattison, who came to Baltimore after holding Florida’s defensive coordinator position.

“It would stand to reason Mattison not only knows the Gators’ draft prospects as well as or better than any other person in the NFL right now, but also would have a direct pipeline into the program to find out the scoop on all of them,” King explained.

King wonders if Mattison’s insider access steered the Ravens away from Florida’s tight end Aaron Hernandez when he slipped into the fourth round of the Draft. Instead, Baltimore opted for Ed Dickson over Hernandez in the third, and then chose Dennis Pitta right after New England chose Hernandez in the fourth.

“Simple scouting preference?” King asked. “Maybe. Or maybe it’s more about the character questions and positive marijuana test (or tests, according to Albert Breer of the Boston Globe) that pushed Hernandez away from the Ravens.”

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