1 Joe Flacco continues to improve in his second season. Springboarding off a successful rookie year, he seemed to grow even more in the preseason, when the team put an emphasis on its passing game. Flacco could become the first Raven to throw for 20 touchdowns in a season since Vinny Testaverde (1996).
2 Defense is more motivated by Rex Ryan's departure. Ray Lewis and teammates seem determined to prove the defense's success is based more on players than scheme. That's why new coordinator Greg Mattison inherits a defense focused on being No. 1 this season.