The Baltimore Ravens had a fairly commanding lead over the New England Patriots heading into the second half of the AFC Divisional game. Playing at Gillette Stadium, the Ravens were able to lead the Patriots by two TDs at one point, only to see the game slip through their fingers as the secondary fell apart.
The Ravens then got into a bit of a spat with the Patriots after the game over the ways in which the Patriots were lining up and declaring certain receivers as eligible or ineligible. It wasn't the ideal way to lose a game by any means, and I'm sure that it really strung to deal with after the game.
But, at the end of the day, it was still a remarkably strong end to the season for a team that had no secondary at the end of the year and ended up in third place in their division. The Ravens finished 10-6 in the incredibly challenging AFC North, only one game behind the AFC North Champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Free Agency (Courtesy of NFL.com):
Unrestricted Free Agents: Darian Stewart, S; Torrey Smith, WR; Jacoby Jones, WR; Owen Daniels, TE; Aaron Ross, CB; Jah Reid, G; Pernell McPhee, OLB; Tyrod Taylor, QB; Jeromy Miles, S; Will Rackley, G; Justin Forsett, RB; Danny Gorrer, CB; Antoine Cason, CB; Chris Greenwood, CB.
Restricted Free Agents: Lawrence Guy, DE; Will Hill, S; Justin Tucker, K.
The Ravens have a lot of interesting names for them to consider as they enter free agency. Torrey Smith has continued to be an excellent deep threat, and might be the type of guy the Ravens want to keep around - especially since he works well with Joe Flacco. Count me as one of those folks who are a bit suspicious of Flacco's talent level. It may be wise to surround him with as many weapons as possible. Though Owen Daniels is not on the same receiving level of Smith, it might make sense to bring him back as well.
The other big name is Justin Forsett. After bouncing around the league for a while, Forsett found a lot of success in Gary Kubiak's zone offense. Given the fact that the Ravens have moved on to Marc Trestman, however, it might not be worth the money it would take to retain Forsett.
The secondary. This absolutely has to be the focus of the Ravens heading into the offseason. Though they have Jimmy Smith returning from injury, depth and potential upgrades are imperatives for the Ravens. This means acquiring talent at the CB level.
Additionally, the Ravens will want to look to the safety position as a place of depth. Darian Stewart is a free agent; Will Hill is not good enough; and, Matt Elam has had a touch and go start to his NFL career.