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NFL Playoffs Capsule: Ravens at Patriots

NFL Playoffs Capsule: Ravens at Patriots


Sunday, 6:30 p.m., CBS

OPENING LINE - Patriots by 9 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Baltimore 8-10; New England 10-7

SERIES RECORD - Patriots lead 7-2

AP PRO32 RANKING - Ravens No. 11; Patriots No. 2

LAST MEETING - Ravens beat Patriots 31-30, Sept. 23, 2012

LAST WEEK - Ravens beat Broncos 38-35, 2 OT; Patriots beat Texans 41-28





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Teams meet for second straight season in AFC championship game and third time in playoffs, all in Foxborough. Ravens won 33-14 in wild-card game Jan. 10, 2010. ... Ravens beat Patriots this season on last-play 27-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. ... Ravens lost AFC title game last year when Joe Flacco threw two incompletions from Patriots 14-yard line followed by Billy Cundiff's failed 32-yard field goal attempt on next to last play. ...Win sends Ravens to Super Bowl for second time, first since 34-7 win over New York Giants on Jan. 28, 2001. ... Ravens 8-5 postseason road record is best in NFL for teams with minimum of 10 road games. ... LB Ray Lewis retiring after this season, his 17th. He's 12-7 in postseason games and only Raven remaining from last championship team. He has 30 tackles in two playoff games this season. ... Ravens gained 503 yards in this season's win over Patriots. They averaged 459 in two playoff wins this year. ... With five postseason road wins, Flacco tied with Eli Manning for most in NFL history and only quarterback with postseason victory in each of first five seasons during Super Bowl era. Flacco 2-3 vs. Patriots in his career with nine TD passes, four INTs. He threw for postseason franchise record 331 yards in playoff win over Broncos. ... RB Ray Rice rushed for 131 yards against Broncos, his second playoff game with more than 100 yards rushing. First was 33-14 win over Patriots when he rushed for 159, starting with 83-yard TD run on Ravens first offensive play. Led AFC running backs this season with 61 receptions. ... WR Jacoby Jones had 70-yard TD catch with 31 seconds left in regulation against Broncos. He led NFL in kickoff return average with 30.7 yards and returned two kickoffs and one punt for TDs. ... WR Anquan Boldin averaging 108 yards receiving in playoffs with 10 of his 11 catches going for first downs. ... WR Torrey Smith has nine catches for 209 yards and three TDs in two career games vs. Patriots. ... LB Paul Kruger led Ravens in regular season with nine sacks. He had at least one in six of his last eight regular-season games and 2 1/2 in this year's playoffs. ... Patriots going for second straight Super Bowl appearance and third in six years, but lost previous two to New York Giants. Won three NFL titles in four years but none in seven full seasons since then. ... Win sends Patriots to eighth Super Bowl, tying Dallas and Pittsburgh for most all-time. ... Patriots 14-3 at home in postseason. ... Brady's 17th postseason win last Sunday broke tie with Joe Montana for most by NFL quarterback. ... Brady 7-6 in postseason after starting 10-0. ... His 78.4 passer rating in seven career games against Ravens lowest against any opponent. ... Bill Belichick's next win is his 18th as coach in postseason, one behind Don Shula and two behind NFL leader Tom Landry. ... TE Rob Gronkowski sidelined for season after breaking left arm on Patriots seventh offensive play vs. Texans, had missed five games with broken left forearm before returning for regular-season finale. ... Third-string RB Shane Vereen scored three TDs - two receiving, one running - last Sunday against Texans. His 124 yards from scrimmage were career high. Only other players with two TD receptions and a TD run in the same playoff game were Roger Craig and Ricky Watters. ... RB Danny Woodhead expected back after hurting thumb on Patriots first offensive play against Houston and missing rest of game. ... Patriots led NFL with 427.9 yards and 34.8 points per game. ... Patriots first in NFL with plus-25 turnover differential, got only turnover of game against Houston on INT by DE Rob Ninkovich. ... DT Vince Wilfork and Ninkovich tied for second in NFL during regular season with four fumble recoveries.


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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?