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Lewis, Ravens advance in playoffs by dumping Indy

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Lewis, Ravens advance in playoffs by dumping Indy

BALTIMORE (AP) After receiving rave reviews for its closing act in Baltimore, The Ray Lewis Retirement Tour heads to Denver for another show.

When Lewis and the Ravens go up against the top-seeded Broncos this Saturday, they won't receive as warm a reception as they did in their game against the Indianapolis Colts.

With Lewis leading the way, Baltimore eliminated the Colts with a 24-9 victory Sunday to set up a rematch against Denver in the second round of the AFC playoffs.

Following a 12-week layoff with a torn right biceps, Lewis led the Ravens with 13 tackles to spark an emotional win in the final home game of his spectacular 17-year career. The 37-year-old middle linebacker intends to retire after Baltimore completes its current playoff run.

If the Ravens have their way, Lewis won't peel off his No. 52 jersey for the final time until Baltimore walks off the field in New Orleans after the Super Bowl.

``We all have a goal in mind, and we're focused in on that goal,'' wide receiver Anquan Boldin said.

Lewis began his emotional farewell to Baltimore with his trademark dance during introductions, a scene that captivated the sellout crowd, his teammates and even a few of the Colts.

Around three hours later, Lewis lined up at fullback as Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco took a knee on the game's final play. Then Lewis danced some more before taking a lap around the field to pay homage to the thousands of fans who refused to leave until he did.

``We're all appreciative, grateful for the opportunity to be here and to witness this historic moment in sports,'' Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. ``And, it wasn't just about one guy. Nobody understands it more than the one guy we're talking about. It was about a team. It was about a city, a fan base, about a great sport, about a great career. I'm just humbled to be a part of it.''

The Ravens (11-6) absolutely refused to lose on Lewis' final stand in Baltimore. Boldin set a team record with 145 yards receiving, Flacco threw for 282 yards and two scores and the defense relentlessly harassed rookie quarterback Andrew Luck while holding the Colts (11-6) without a touchdown.

``We all wanted to play well for him and make sure it wasn't his last game,'' Boldin said.

For Lewis and the Ravens, it amounted to a solid performance on a near-perfect day.

``I knew how it started, but I never knew how it was going to end here in Baltimore,'' Lewis said. ``For it to go the way it went today, I wouldn't change nothing.''

The Ravens are the only NFL team to reach the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, and they've won at least one game in each of those trips. To get to the AFC title game for the third time in that span, Baltimore will have to beat a Denver team that breezed past the Ravens 34-17 in Baltimore last month.

``It's onto the next one,'' Lewis said. ``We saw them earlier in the year and now we get them back again, but with all of our guns back.''

The loss ended a season in which the Colts went from 2-14 to the playoffs in coach Chuck Pagano's first year in Indianapolis. Pagano missed 12 weeks while undergoing treatment for leukemia and returned last week.

Baltimore's former defensive coordinator believes the Colts will benefit from the experience.

``The foundation is set, and we said we were going to build one on rock and not on sand,'' Pagano said. ``You weather storms like this and you learn from times like this.''

Owner Jim Irsay said: ``This year was incredible. It was special and unique in so many ways. It was one of the most special seasons in Colts history and probably in NFL history. I couldn't have imagined how this season would have played out. We had a coach fighting for his life, we reorganized, won 11 games and went to the playoffs. ... To say that our future is bright is an understatement.''

Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who went 9-3 as interim coach, was absent Sunday after being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms. Pagano said Arians ``is fine'' and would stay overnight for observation before rejoining the Colts on Monday.

Quarterback coach Clyde Christensen called the plays, but he couldn't come up with a way to foil Baltimore's hard-charging defense.

``It's great making the playoffs, but you can't make mistakes and expect to beat a playoff team,'' said Luck, who threw an interception and was sacked three times. ``We'll have to look back at those and hopefully fix them.''

Indy's only points came on three field goals by Adam Vinatieri, from 47, 52 and 26 yards. He also missed from 40 yards.

NOTES: Reggie Wayne of the Colts had 114 yards on nine receptions and moved into second in career playoff catches with 92. He's 59 behind Jerry Rice. ... Ravens LB Dannell Ellerbe sprained an ankle. Harbaugh said, ``I don't know how serious it is. We'll have to see.'' ... Baltimore's Paul Kruger had 2 1/2 sacks ... Ravens RB Ray Rice lost two fumbles. He fumbled only once during the regular season.

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2018 NFL Mock Draft Ravens Roundup 6.0: The final countdown

2018 NFL Mock Draft Ravens Roundup 6.0: The final countdown

After months and months of talk and a lot of predictions, the 2018 NFL Draft is finally here.

On Thursday, Ozzie Newsome and Co. will enter the draft room prepared for battle. A lot of questions await them and most of them can not be answered until the ten minutes leading up to their pick. 

Even with the additions of Michael CrabtreeJohn Brown and Willie Snead, will the Ravens continue to add to their wide receiver corps? 

Will they trade down and scoop up a tight end or will they address the offensive line and snag Mike McGlinchey? 

All of our questions will be answered in no time, but for now, sit back and enjoy the wild ride that is the first-round of the NFL Draft. 

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig (Link) Charley Casserly (Link

— Mike McGlinchey (OL)

With the exit of Ryan Jensen, the Ravens are now in need of an offensive lineman. 

At the combine, McGlinchey put up 24 reps on the bench press, had a 28.5 inch vertical and a 105 inch broad jump. 

"The offense lacks playmakers which is why wide receivers Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore work," Standing says. "Right tackle also in play. McGlinchey seems to have moved ahead of the other tackle prospects."

ESPN's Mel Kiper (Link) CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso (Link) Sporting News (Link) Rotoworld (Link

— Calvin Ridley (WR)

Ridley is one of the few wideouts in this draft projected to go in the first-round. While his combine performance didn't help his stock, running a 4.43 40-yard dash, recording a 31-inch vertical, a 110-inch broad jump and a 6.88-second 3-cone drill, many are still predicting he lands with the Ravens or somewhere in the first-round. 

"Ridley underwhelmed at the combine, but his college tape shows a player who’s nearly uncoverable," Kiper says. "I’m going to trust the tape in this case and still make him my top-ranked wideout (Maryland’s D.J. Moore is not far behind). Baltimore could also target an offensive tackle at pick No. 16."

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah (Link)

— Hayden Hurst (TE) 

The Ravens haven't addressed their need at tight end in free agency and the reason could be because they're holding out for the draft. 

QB Joe Flacco has a tendency to favor Ravens tight ends and Hayden Hurst out of South Carolina is being considered by many the top TE in this draft. 

The ex-minor league baseball pitcher, who walked on at South Carolina at 21-years old, is being compared to Dallas Clark. "His fearless play demeanor combined with size, strength and athleticism make him a well-rounded prospect with the versatility to line up all over the field," according to his draft profile

Jeremiah, who once was a scout for the Ravens, predicts they will be looking to draft back for Hurst.

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks (Link) 

— Lamar Jackson (QB) 

It was reported last week that Jackson would be making a visit to the Ravens' facility during the final week of pre-draft visits, and with Joe Flacco nearing the end of his contract, now could be the time to find his successor. Jackson provides support on the ground and in the air, but scouts are concerned about his accuarcy. 

"With Joe Flacco viewed as a potential salary cap casualty in 2019, the Ravens can secure their future QB by grabbing Jackson if he is available at No. 16," Brooks says. "Remember, Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and assistant head coach Greg Roman have experience nurturing athletic quarterbacks into dynamic playmakers (see Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, Colin Kaepernick), so the Ravens could be the perfect fit for the 2016 Heisman winner."

Bleacher Report (Link

— Mike Gesicki (TE) 

Gesicki is another tight end option for the Ravens. Standing tall at 6' 5", Gesicki ran a 4.54 40-yard dash and recorded a 41.5 vertical jump at the combine. He also ended his time at Penn State as their tight end leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. 

His draft profile describes him as a "pass-catcher who can get open and has the ball skills to win against linebackers and safeties." Scouts are also comparing him to the likes of Jimmy Graham. 

Land of 10 (Link

— Christian Kirk (WR)

Kirk provides another wide receiver option if Ridley is gone at 16, even though his draft profile has him projected in Rounds 2-3. 

The 5-10, 201-pound junior finished with 71 receptions, 919 yards and 10 touchdowns at Texas A&M.

At the combine, Kirk ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, recorded a 35.5 vertical jump and a 7.09 second 3-cone drill. 

His bottom line states, "Kirk is a well-built, mentally tough slot target whose game is built around pace more than explosiveness. His lack of speed and length make him less likely to impact games down the field, but his footwork, route tempo and hands should give him an opportunity to find catches underneath. Kirk's ability to help in the return game is a plus, but the difference between average and good as a receiver could depend on finding the right fit."

CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson (Link)

— D.J. Moore (WR)

As the draft has slowly approached, Maryland's D.J. Moore has risen in the rankings. 

Many pundits are ranking him narrowly behind Alabama's Calvin Ridley as the top WR in the draft. 

The 6'0"  junior ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, a 6.95 3-cone drill and recorded a 39.5 vertical jump. 

"Moore is bigger than former Terrapin wideout Stefon Diggs, but their playing style and athletic ability while at Maryland are similar," states his draft profile.

"Moore doesn't have the height and length teams look for outside and may become a full-time option from the slot. He clearly has the short-area quickness and talent after the catch to handle those duties, but his route-running needs to become more focused and fast to unlock his potential. Teams are high on Moore's potential and believe he has the talent and traits to become a good WR2 in the league."

Moore is being compared to the likes of Pierre Garçon. 

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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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