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Hunches for Patriots-Ravens


Hunches for Patriots-Ravens

Sunday night's game will be an interesting one and could be a high-scoring affair as it features a pair of offenses that have gotten off to a good start in 2012. Here's a few hunches as to what we might see in this contest.
1. Ray Rice will touch the ball more. Maybe a lot more. The Ravens are going to want to keep Tom Brady and his friends off the field. One good way to do that is to run the football. That would let Joe Flacco and the offense control the game more, something that would be a wise move against the Patriots. A game where Rice runs 20-25 times would let the Ravens move the chains consistently and control time of possession.
2. The defense will do better because Bernard Pollard is supposed to return. The loss of Pollard really hurt in the Philly game last week. For some reason, Pollard flies under the radar a bit when people look at the Ravens. But this is a very good player who means a lot of them, a veteran who knows what to do. Plus, the defense has been tough on Brady in the last few games they've met, especially last year's playoff game.
3. The Ravens will get better pressure on the quarterback. Here's guessing the Ravens roll the dice a bit and blitz some more or come up with something to, at the very least, make Brady move around a little and not be able to stand in the pocket all night long.
4. Overall, the Ravens are going to play with some fire. This is a team that loves to be on the big stage and in the spotlight. First of all, they're coming off a frustrating loss where, as Pollard said in the locker room Thursday, they didn't play Raven football. They keep saying last year's gone, but you can bet the memory of the AFC title-game loss is in the back of their minds. How could it not be? Add all that up, and the Ravens should be ready to rumble.

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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?