Panther's Roster Comparison: 2012-13 Baltimore Ravens

I share the opinion that the current Carolina Panthers roster is close to being very very good. I also believe it can be one that could possibly make a deep playoff run as soon as this year. I’ve chosen to compare our current roster to the one the Baltimore Ravens trotted out on the field for Super Bowl XLVII. Though comparing current rosters to ones of the past isn’t a fair judgement, it should give us a view into how talented our current team is.





This is one of the trickiest comparisons to make, Cam Newton or Joe Flacco? Though I believe Newton is a superior player to Flacco, Joe’s playoff play is spectacular and can’t be denied. However, Flacco seems to be a completely different player during most of the regular season, one that is lesser of a player than Cam Newton. But since we are talking about the playoffs, I have to give edge to Flacco until Cam shows me otherwise.

Advantage: Baltimore Ravens


Half Back:

Say what you want about Ray Rice and his off the field escapades, but you can’t say he wasn’t a beast on the field in 2012. He was named to the Pro Bowl while accounting nearly 1200 yards rushing in the regular season. Though I am a huge fan of Jonathan Stewart, I just don’t know if he can stay injury free as the #1 back.

Advantage: Baltimore Ravens


Full Back:

Mike Tolbert is a former Pro Bowler, and one of the most active full backs in the league when healthy. However, his blocking is questionable and his pass caching leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, Vonta Leach was one of the best full backs of the last decade and showed it by earning a Pro Bowl invite in 2012.

Advantage: Baltimore Ravens


Wide Receiver:

The Ravens boasted a solid receiving corp of Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. Though the two made big plays down the stretch; Boldin lead the team with 921 yards in the regular season and Smith lead the team with 8 touchdown receptions, both of which Kelvin Benjamin surpassed his rookie season. Add in youngsters Corey Brown and Devin Funchess, and you have a soon to be unstoppable trio.

Advantage: Carolina Panthers


Tight End:

The Ravens got the job done with with the duo of Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. It just so happens that Dickson is now backing up one of the leagues top tight ends in Greg Olsen.

Advantage: Carolina Panthers


Interior Offensive Line:

This is another tough one to call. The Ravens starters for the Super Bowl were Pro Bowler Marshal Yanda and then-rookie Kelechi Osemele at guard, with Matt Birk at center. Though Yanda is a better player than anyone on the Panther’s O Line, Ryan Kalil is no slouch. Throw in the two sophmores at guard, and you have a solid interior.

Advantage: Tie


Offensive Tackles:

Starting right tackle for the Ravens, Michael Oher, is now the starting tackle on the left side for the Panthers. We do know that version of Oher was better than the latest version we saw last year. The Panthers find themselves near the bottom of any offensive tackle rankings you will find, for good reason too. We really don’t know how the Panthers will hold up at tackle, hopefully better than the analysts think.

Advantage: Baltimore Ravens




Defensive End: 

The Ravens ran a 3-4 in 2012-13, so it is hard to compare the position groupings between the two teams. Pernell McPhee was the starting end, and did an fine job at the position. The Panther’s put two defensive ends on the field, and have one of the best in Charles Johnson. 

Advantage: Carolina Panthers


Inside Linebacker:

Ray Lewis went out with a bang in his final season as a pro, collecting his second Super Bowl ring. Lewis anchored the Raven's defense for 17 seasons, and was one of the best at his job during that time. Baltimore’s second inside linebacker was Dannell Ellerbe, who has grind out a solid professional career. Taking into account that Ray Lewis was a shell of his former self, and the Panthers own the game’s best in Luke Kuechly, this is no contest.

Advantage: Carolina Panthers


Outside Linebacker:

The outside linebackers were the strength of the Ravens no doubt. Terrell Suggs and Courtney Upshaw were the starters for the Super Bowl, but regular season team sack leader Paul Kruger had the biggest impact. Kruger totaled 2 sacks and 3 tackles, including a tackle for a loss. Though the Panthers have a great one in Thomas Davis, and a potential star in Shaq Thompson; this Ravens group was one for the ages.

Advantage: Baltimore Ravens



Baltimore’s starting corners for the big game were Corey Graham and the oft ridiculed Cary Williams, the latter had a solid year. Behind them was Jimmy Smith, one of the leagues best young corners. On the Panthers, Josh Norman looks to take another step forward and put himself in the top echelon of cornerbacks, while Charles Tillman looks to regain his fully healthy form opposite of Norman. In the slot, rookie sensation Bene Benwikere aims to become one of the top nickel backs in the league.

Advantage: Carolina Panthers by a hair



The Ravens had a really strong duo in future hall of famer Ed Reed, and tackling machine Bernard Pollard. The Panthers are still experimenting with Tre Boston, Kurt Coleman, and Roman Harper. I expect the Panther’s safeties to have a solid year, but they probably won’t come close the the group the Ravens possessed in 2012.

Advantage: Baltimore Ravens



The Panthers should have one of the better group of specialists in the NFL this year with Graham Gano, Brad Nortman, JJ Jansen, and Ted Ginn. The 2012 Ravens had a superb club with one of the leagues best kickers in Justin Tuck, and Pro Bowler Jacoby Jones returning punts and kicks. Jones returned a kick 108 yards for a touchdown in the Super Bowl, putting his name in the record book for the longest Super Bowl play.

Advantage: Baltimore Ravens


The 2012-13 Ravens outscore the current Panther’s team 7 position groupings to 5, with one tie. The team’s success relies on no other than Cam Newton, if Cam shows out in the playoffs this year he could swing my rankings and tie the two teams up 6-6-1. The Panther’s have a good ways to go before they can match this Ravens team, or contend for the Super Bowl as a whole. Though our current team is solid all around, there seem to be gaping holes at tackle and safety. If Gettleman’s free agent signings pan out, the Panthers could be a very dangerous team this year. Carolina is close to having a Super Bowl worthy roster, if luck falls into our favor like all Super Bowl teams, Charlotte could finally own a winner here soon. Let the coronation begin.

By Grant Hughes

Follow Grant on Twitter @KenjonVander