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Chiefs cruise past Ravens: 5 things we learned


Chiefs cruise past Ravens: 5 things we learned

BALTIMORE – Five things we learned watching the Chiefs win their eighth straight game, defeating the Ravens, 34-14, at M&T Bank Stadium:

1. The Ravens (4-10) didn’t start Matt Schaub, but still threw a pick-six. Their season can’t end fast enough.

Jimmy Clausen started at quarterback and could not escape the pick-six bug, throwing an interception that Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters returned 90 yards for a touchdown. Start Clausen next week, or start Schaub, or start Ryan Mallett. Does it really matter? Right now, the main goal is to finish the final two games with no more injuries.

2. The Chiefs (9-5) are not spectacular, but they are solid.

How have the Chiefs won eight straight? By doing the things the Ravens don’t do. The Chiefs don’t make careless mistakes. They force turnovers. They keep penalties to a minimum. Alex Smith (21 for 25, 171 yards) had another efficient day at quarterback. Unlike the Ravens, the Chiefs recovered from 1 1-5 start, and remained a playoff contender with two games left.

3. Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (thigh) became the latest injured starter for them.

Smith left the game in the first series and never returned. While the severity of his injury was not immediately known, it appeared Smith may have pulled a hamstring chasing Charcandrick West on his 38-yard touchdown run. If that’s the case, Smth may not play again until next season.

4. Running back Buck Allen is in John Harbaugh’s doghouse.

Allen fumbled for the second time in two weeks. This time, Chiefs cornerback Tyvon Branch returned Allen’s fumble for a 73-yard touchdown. Harbaugh benched Allen the rest of the game, playing Terrance West and Terrence Magee at running back. Harbaugh has very little patience for running backs who fumble. Allen has run with authority since Justin Forsett suffered his season-ending broken arm. But Allen needs to get this fumbling issue solved before it creeps into his head.

5. Wide receiver Kamar Aiken (eight catches, 128 yards, one touchdown) continued to be a Ravens bright spot.

Aiken scored on a 48-yard Hail Mary to end the first half, and he has been a solid possession receiver all season. Aiken’s eight catches and 128 yards receiving were both career highs. When the Ravens sit down to plan next year’s roster, Aiken should be part of the mix.

RELATED: Smith injures thigh, out for game

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?