Since their Super Bowl winning season of 2000, the Ravens have been known for turning out some of the NFL's best defenses, but maybe that will change this season.
The 2012 version could be good, but Baltimore could be in for a football culture shock, partially out of necessity.
When you take into consideration some of the defensive players who left in the offseason and that two of the team's superstars are on the downside of their careers, it might be time for the offense to take over.
This could be the year of Ray Rice and Joe Flacco.
"They've got a lot of the pieces in place on that offense," former Ravens guard Wally Williams said. "They've got a quarterback [Flacco] and running back [Rice] about to enter the prime of their careers. They've got a home run hitting receiver on the outside and a great possession receiver on the inside. They have not one, but two good tight ends.
"This could be the year of the offense in Baltimore, a year where the Ravens could be known more for their offense than their defense. They have the potential to put up the numbers and points we did when we first came to Baltimore."
It's not like anyone is writing off the defense because the Ravens have too much talent. Until he retires, this will always be inside linebacker Ray Lewis' team. He controls the pulse and climate along with safety Ed Reed.
But both of these eventual Hall of Famers are on the downside regardless of Lewis shedding 15 to 20 pounds, and Reed un-retiring for the 99th time. The Ravens have even more pressing issues like trying to find two starting outside linebackers.
Former starter Jarret Johnson now plays for San Diego. The other starter and Defensive Player of the Year last season, Terrell Suggs, is out indefinitely with a torn Achilles . It's hard to predict how their replacements, Paul Kruger and Courtney Upshaw, will play, but there are certain things we know for sure.
Neither will replace the 14 sacks Suggs had last season, and Kruger can't cement the edge on running plays like Johnson. Upshaw is a rookie, and guaranteed to make mistakes, especially early in the season.
Combined with some young talent in the secondary and Dean Pees in his first season as defensive coordinator, this defense might not be as strong as previous seasons, especially in the first quarter of the season.
Enter the offense.
Flacco is entering his fifth season and the Ravens hired former Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell during the offseason which might improve Flacco's consistency enough and put him in the Top 10 QB rankings.
The Ravens just kept Rice happy with a new five-year, $35 million contract. Last year, both players stepped up as team leaders. Now, they could take over.
"We had a chance to do some research around the league and also just with him [Caldwell] directly," said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, "and to me it became very obvious it's a perfect fit as we go forward. It's going to be the best thing for everybody offensively and for the growth of our offense.
"It just not so much Joe. Joe is a part of that, sure. But it's about our offense — all our coaches — just trying to get the most out of everybody."
The improvement was evident during some of the offseason minicamps . Flacco worked well with Caldwell, and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron had more time to work with other units instead of just coaching Flacco. One of the most improved players from a year ago was second year receiver Torrey Smith.
He always had great speed, but has improved in his route running as far as getting his hips down and getting his hands and arms away from his body to make catches. Anquan Boldin is the consummate pro. He can't get separation like he used to, but if Flacco puts the ball in certain spots, Boldin will catch it.
Both tight ends, third year players Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, can control the middle of the field or run deep so the Ravens have a complete arsenal. The biggest question remains the offensive line, and if this group can hold up physically for an entire season.
If this unit struggles in the preseason, look for general manager Ozzie Newsome to make changes after the second exhibition game like he did last year.
Overall, though, the Ravens have an interesting mix. There is a theory in the NFL that teams shouldn't remain status quo during the offseason . Certainly, teams like New England and Cincinnati made significant upgrades, and so did Pittsburgh which looked old in 2011 after a quiet offseason .
As of now, the Ravens have been relatively quiet as well but the time may come when they have to win more games with offense than defense.
It might be out of necessity.