The reality of being Super Bowl champions means the Ravens have emerged as a weekly target for NFL teams eager to knock off the most successful team in the league from last season.
Teams will devote time during the offseason to breaking down the Ravens' strengths and weaknesses, seeking an edge for future matchups.
And the Ravens' opponents, which include seven playoff teams from last season, won't lack for motivation as teams seeking the validation of beating a defending champion.
"Now, you have to figure out how do you get back to the next Super Bowl, which is quite the challenge," Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice said. "We are going to get every team’s best shot. Everybody’s best shot is versus us. Everybody’s offseason studies, the teams that we’ve played, are going to be the Ravens now. You are truly a champion until somebody knocks you off.
"That’s what the Giants had to face last year. When we played the Giants, even though they were in the hunt to get in the playoffs, when we played them here, everybody was saying, ‘Baltimore Ravens against the defending champs.’ That’s what it’s going to be next year. It’s a little bit different."
For cornerback Lardarius Webb, who was on injured reserve last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the Ravens' Super Bowl status provides him with something to chase.
“It feels good to be a Super Bowl champion, but I want to play in it," Webb said. "So, that’s still my motivation to this day. I want to play in a Super Bowl.”
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