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How failures to finish doomed Baltimore vs. Jaguars


How failures to finish doomed Baltimore vs. Jaguars

BALTIMORE – The Ravens’ most-recent heartbreaking loss should have never come down to Elvis Dumervil’s facemask penalty, or to Jason Myers’ game-winning field goal.

Since Week 1, the Ravens (2-7) have consistently had trouble finishing games. It happened again Sunday, and the result was an unfathomable 22-20 loss the Jaguars, a team that had lost 13 consecutive road games. The atmosphere in the Ravens’ locker room was a combination of disbelief and frustration. 

Here are some reasons why the Ravens should have trouble sleeping:

- With 20 seconds to play, Ravens safety Kendrick Lewis dropped a potential interception that would have closed the game out.

“I had a chance to seal it,” Lewis said in a stunned Ravens’ locker room. “When the plays come to you, you’ve got to make those. That’s why we’re here. That’s why they pay us and I didn’t today.”


- On the final play from scrimmage, when Dumervil got his facemask penalty to set up the Myers field goal, several Ravens admitted they stopped playing, thinking the clock had already run out and that the game was over. 

“We all thought the game was over,” said Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw. “But we have to finish better. We kind of left Doom (Dumervil) out there alone.”

 - Early in the fourth quarter, with the Ravens leading, 14-13, Ravens returner Jeremy Ross muffed a punt, and the Jaguars recovered to set up a go-ahead touchdown. 

In that situation as a returner, you want to avoid a muff or a fumble at all costs. Ross committed a cardinal sin.

- The Ravens had four turnovers – two interceptions thrown by Joe Flacco, a Flacco fumble, and Ross’ muff.

When you commit four turnovers, you are not supposed to win. It looked like the Ravens were going to get away with it. But they didn’t.

“We’re just leaving room for stuff like this to happen,” Flacco said. “At the end of the day, we’re not good enough.”

That candid statement by Flacco summed up the 2015 Ravens. They have lost seven games by a total of 32 points. More often than not, they play just well enough to lose. 

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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?