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Ihedigbo shows much-needed mean streak


Ihedigbo shows much-needed mean streak

The calm exterior of James Ihedigo hides a ferocity that was unleashed on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The safety, picked up by the Ravens just a week before the season started after he was released by the New England Patriots, was responsible for knocking one player out of Sunday’s 13-10 and another for possibly the rest of the season.

"He was a physical force out there the whole game – on defense when he played and especially on special teams, every phase of special teams," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He’s got a lot of pride, and he fits right in."

When Jacoby Jones scored the Ravens’ only touchdown on a 63-yard punt return, Ihedigbo had a block that helped open a lane just past midfield. He buried Will Allen, who didn’t return to the game because of a shoulder injury.

With the Steelers trying to generate a drive with 4:41 left in the fourth quarter and the ball on the Ravens’ 43, Ihedigbo got his first sack in two years. He drilled quarterback Byron Leftwich from his blindside for a 7-yard loss on third down to force a punt.

Two of Leftwich’s ribs were broken on the play and he’s now out and being replaced by third-string quarterback Charlie Batch. The Steelers have to play at Baltimore in two weeks.

"We played physical from the beginning of the game to the end of the game," said Ihedibgo, who only played four defensive snaps but 25 on special teams.

He went to the Super Bowl in his only season with the Patriots one year ago, starting 12 games. Even though he’s on the second-team behind hard-hitting Bernard Pollard, Ihedigbo sees his first Steelers game in the rivalry as a sign that he has arrived as a Raven.

"I definitely would say that. I was talking to coach Harbs before. This is why they brought me here, is for the Pittsburgh Steelers games," he said. "You have to be a physical presence in a game like this."

The Ravens defense has been a work in progress. They’ve lost key players in the secondary, at linebacker and on the front. They’ve given up lots of yards, too, and at the bottom of the rankings in many categories. But they’re getting better.

"We don’t want to be the best defensive team in the league come Week 1. We don’t want that. We want to gradually build towards that. When you’re going into Week 16, you’re going into the playoffs, you’re the best defense in the NFL, that’s how you win championships," Ihedigbo said. "We understand that. We’re getting better each week, correcting the things we need to correct and we’re playing with a chip on our shoulders. It’s attitude."

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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.