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Bubble watch: Offense


Bubble watch: Offense

The Ravenstrimmed their roster from 90 to 75 this week, and although the decision to cutkicker Billy Cundiff certainly caused some pain at the Under Armour PerformanceCenter, the easy part of cut-down week is now over. Most of the other14 moves made so far were fairly predictable,and some of them, such as putting Terrell Suggs on thePhysically-Unable-To-Perform list, were foregone conclusions.Now the realteeth-gnashing begins. By Friday night, the Ravens must further trim the rosterdown to the final total of 53. (Although the 53 are never really final; aplayer waived by one team this week could end up with the Ravens, thus forcingout one of the 53 initially kept.) This means 22more players must be shown the door by Friday night. And while there areseveral locks to make the team, there are many players sitting squarely on thebubble right now, hoping one final strong practice week, and one final strongpreseason game at St. Louis Thursday night, puts them on the right side of the53.With that inmind, here's a bubble watch, first looking at the offense. By our count, the offense takes 24 spots, leaving 29 spots for defense and specialists:QUARTERBACK(total on final roster: 2):Locks (2): JoeFlacco, Tyrod TaylorOn the bubble: CurtisPainterAnalysis: TheRavens have suggested Taylor will get some action this year in various ways, ala the Wildcat, so the might want to keep Painter around in the event Taylor(or Flacco) is injured. The bet here is Painter will go. Keeping Painter wouldmean the Ravens keep one fewer defensive back, or perhaps one fewer specialteams linebacker. The needs are greater elsewhere.RUNNING BACK (4):Locks (3): VontaLeach, Bernard Pierce, Ray RiceOn the bubble:Anthony Allen, Damien Berry, Bobby RaineyPierce got a latestart but seems to have solidified his status as the No. 2 back behind Rice.All indications are undrafted rookie Bobby Rainey will win the No. 3 back job.He has proven the ability to run, catch and return. Allen's stock has fallen,and though he has made contributions on special teams, he had no carries in thegame against Jacksonville. If the Ravens keep four running backs, he won't beone of them.OFFENSIVE LINE(9):Locks (8): MattBirk, Gino Gradkowski, Bryant McKinnie, Michael Oher, Kelechi Osemele, JahReid, Bobby Williams, Marshal Yanda On the bubble:GC Justin Boren, T Ramon Harewood, GTony WraggeThe line has beenunsettled all camp, but if all the veterans are healthy for Week 1, they willstart and rookies Osemele and Gradkowski will be well-practiced reserves. Reidhas been slowed by injury all camp, but his roster spot appears secure assuminghis calf injury isn't more complicated. It's likely there is one roster spotavailable for Boren, Harewood or Wragge. Do the Ravens feel a more pressing need atguard or at tackle? That could decide it.TIGHT END (3):Locks (2): EdDickson, Dennis Pitta
On the bubble:Billy BajemaWith both Dicksonand Pitta banged up all training camp, and not likely to return until Week 1,Bajema makes the team. He can serve as the No. 3 tight end, and the seven-yearveteran has the experience to step in if either Dickson or Pitta aggravatestheir injury. WIDE RECEIVER(6):Locks (3): AnquanBoldin, Jacoby Jones, Torrey SmithOn thebubble: Tandon Doss, Logan Paine, TommyStreeter, Deonte Thompson, LaQuan Williams.You can justabout slide Doss and Williams into the 'lock' category. If the Ravens keep sixreceivers, that leaves one spot for Paine, Streeter or Thompson. I'll takeThompson based on his blinding speed and big-play capability in the returngame, which he's showed this preseason. Streeter, the sixth-round draft pick,could easily land on the practice squad to develop for a year.

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Baltimore Ravens' 2018 regular season matchups, dates and times

Baltimore Ravens' 2018 regular season matchups, dates and times

We've known the Ravens' 2018 preseason and regular season opponents for some time now, but the NFL finally released their full schedule with exact dates and times.

As they do every year, the Ravens will be seeing the Bengals, Steelers and Browns twice. 

For the ninth consecutive year, Week 16 and 17 will be divisional games with playoff implications.

The Ravens will also be playing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame preseason game against the Chicago Bears in Canton, Ohio, bringing an extra preseason game to their schedule.

In the regular season, the birds will be flocking south to take on the Panthers, Falcons and Titans. They haven't seen the Panthers or Falcons since 2014 - both ending in wins - and came up just short against the Titans in their 23-20 loss last season.

The Ravens will only have to travel to the west coast once when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers, who they last saw in 2015 and earned a 29-26 win.

Not including AFC North rivals, the last time the Ravens saw their remaining five home opponents they came away with wins. Hopefully history will repeat itself.

Prime-time games, which the Ravens have two of, will kick off at earlier times than in the past. Monday Night Football will now start at 8:15 p.m. while Thursday and Sunday Night Football will start at 8:20 p.m.

Ravens 2018 Regular-Season Schedule:

Week 1: Sunday, 9/9 vs. Bills, 1:00 p.m.

Week 2: Thursday, 9/13 @ Bengals, 8:20 p.m.

Week 3: Sunday, 9/23 vs. Broncos. 1:00 p.m.

Week 4: Sunday, 9/30 @ Steelers, 8:20 p.m.

Week 5: Sunday, 10/7 @ Browns, 1:00 p.m.

Week 6: Sunday 10/14 @ Titans, 4:25 p.m.

Week 7: Sunday, 10/21 vs. Saints, 4:05 p.m.

Week 8: Sunday 10/28 @ Panthers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 9: Sunday 11/4 vs. Steelers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 10:  BYE week

Week 11: Sunday 11/18 vs. Bengals, 1:00 p.m.

Week 12: Sunday 11/25 vs. Raiders, 1:00 p.m.

Week 13: Sunday 12/2 @ Falcons, 1:00 p.m.

Week 14: Sunday 12/9 @ Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.

Week 15: Sunday 12/16 vs. Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 16: Saturday 12/22 or Sunday 12/23 @ Chargers, TBD

Week 17: Sunday 12/30 vs. Browns, 1:00 p.m.


Hall of Fame Game: Thurs., 8/2, vs. Chicago Bears (Canton, OH), 8:00pm (NBC).

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. Los Angeles Rams

Week 2: Mon. 8/20,  at Indianapolis Colts (Monday Night Football, ESPN).

Week 3: at Miami Dolphins*

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30 at Washington Redskins

* - Game date and time not yet determined


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As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report


As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

With 10 days until the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterback Lamar Jackson is set to visit the Ravens this week, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

The former Heisman Trophy winner is a projected first-round pick as he has proven to have success in the air and on the ground. 

While at Louisville, Jackson had 9,043 passing yards and 69 touchdowns. He also rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns. His NFL draft profile compares him to Michael Vick. 


The Ravens are in search of Joe Flacco's successor, but spending a first-round pick on a quarterback when there are other glaring needs is up in the air. However, assistant general manager Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of drafting a quarterback in the first-round.

At their pre-draft press conference, GM Ozzie Newsome and DeCosta kept reiterating we could be surprised by who they pick at No. 16, if they do at all. 

While Jackson's numbers are impressive, he continues to be considered a late first-round pick as his build isn't up to typical NFL QB standards and scouts are concerned with his accuracy. What he does have in his favor is speed.

While fans are hoping for an offensive weapon, having Jackson learn under Flacco for a year (and maybe RGIII?) could rev up some excitement.