Joe Flacco Will Be Missing Key 3rd Down Targets Dennis Pitta and Anquan Boldin; Will it Matter?
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Living in Baltimore I hear a lot about the Ravens whether I want to or not. Last year I heard how great the Ravens were at the beginning of the season, I heard the frustration and anger at their mid-season slide, and ultimately I heard the cheers when they beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl. It certainly was a wild ride for the Ravens last year and it was capped off by a storybook ending for Ray Lewis and the boys. The Ravens team that takes the field on September 5th will look completely different than the team that left the field February 3rd in New Orleans. The loses of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, and Cary Williams will leave a void on the defensive side of the ball for sure. But perhaps the most important losses, however, were Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta. Boldin was traded in the offseason to the 49ers and Pitta was lost for the year with a hip injury early in training camp. Jake Myers laid out here how many targets will need to be filled with both Boldin and Pitta out and how this could benefit Torrey Smith and friends. However, one area that gets overlooked is how effective Pitta and Boldin were on 3rd down for the Ravens in 2012.