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Kicking proves to be key for both Ravens and Steelers

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Kicking proves to be key for both Ravens and Steelers

PITTSBURGH – The Ravens were staring at 4th-and-1 from the Steelers 35-yard line in overtime. Coach John Harbaugh was contemplating trying to play for the first down and see if the Steelers would jump offside.

But quarterback Joe Flacco didn’t want to fool around.

“Joe comes over and says, ‘Just let him win the game’ “ Harbaugh recalled, with Flacco referring to Ravens Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker.

And with that, Tucker trotted out and drilled a 52-yard field goal with 5:08 left in overtime to lift the Ravens (1-3) to a desperately-needed 23-20 win here at Heinz Field. Tucker’s success – and 50-plus yarders are far from automatic at Heinz Field -- stood in stark contrast to Steelers kicker Josh Scobee, who missed field-goal attempts from 49 and 41 yards on the Steelers final two drives of regulation.

Scobee’s second miss, with 1:06 left, gave the Ravens new life and the ball at their 31-yard line. Seven plays later, Tucker hit a 42-yard field goal with three seconds left to force overtime.

Tucker’s game-winner was set up because, in large part, the Steelers lost confidence in Scobee. Facing 4th-and-1 at the Ravens 33 in overtime, the Steelers opted not to send out Scobee for a 50-yard try, and a fourth-down pass from Mike Vick to Antonio Brown was broken up by Jimmy Smith. 

That set the stage for Flacco and the Ravens to steal the win. 

A 12-yard run by Justin Forsett and an 11-yard pass from Flacco to Kamar Aiken were the key plays on an eight-play drive that reached the Steelers 35-yard line.

And on came Tucker, who drilled the eighth game-winner of his career.

Tucker is now 12-for-13 in his career at Heinz Field, and is 16-for-23 in his career from 50-plus yards. His career percentage of .899 is second-best in NFL history.

“When you have a guy like Justin, kicking field goals is a pretty safe bet,” Flacco said. “He’s pretty darn good.”

RELATED: Smith stops just short of promising to 'assault' former teammate

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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.


PRESEASON 

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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. 

RELATED: BEST QUOTES FROM RAVENS PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE

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. 

RELATED: RGIII READY TO MOVE FORWARD AS NEW, GROWN PLAYER