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No explanations for Ravens' futile offense


No explanations for Ravens' futile offense

After weeks of deflecting questions about their dual personalities on the road, particularly on offense, the Ravens couldn't call on their security blanket -- "We still got the W" -- after Sunday's 43-13 blowout loss to the Houston Texans.

Instead of "win" they're faced with another "W" word: Why?

They're at a loss trying to explain how such a prolific offense at home (32.2 points per game) loses its potency on road trips (15.0), and they've yet to travel for AFC North division games.

"I don't have an explanation. If I did we'd fix them," Ravens receiver Torrey Smith said. "We're calling the same stuff, running the same stuff, but for whatever reason we haven't been executing on the road well."

The Ravens started out well in their first road trip against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2. They posted 17 points in the first half before wilting in a 24-23 loss. They started out well vs. the Texans, driving into their territory on the first drive but settling for a 51-yard field goal from Justin Tucker.

They only got two field goals from Tucker in the second half of the Eagles game, failed to score a touchdown in four quarters at the Kansas City Chiefs in a 9-6 victory and then just one end-zone visit vs. the Texans, who'd already put the game out of reach.

The total yardage for the hurry-up offense in those games has gotten progressively worse. Baltimore had 325 vs. the Eagles, 298 vs. the Chiefs and just 176 Sunday in a battle of 5-1 teams. The Texans had been winless in five tries against their conference rival.

If the Ravens were a young team, having difficulties away from home would be understandable and could be written off as part of the growth process. But they have experience at every key position along the offense, with the exception of rookie right tackle Kelechi Osemele.

In going 12-4 last season and advancing to the AFC title game vs. the New England Patriots, the Ravens were 4-5 on the road. They averaged 19.8 points there compared with 26.5 in Baltimore for nine games.

They're certain to be a below-.500 team on the road again at this rate. The Ravens are so dominant at home with a 14-game winning streak that they still may have enough to make the playoffs. But it won't be a deep run.

Ravens safety Ed Reed tried to explain the loss to the Texans, who were coming off a 42-24 spanking to the Green Bay Packers, this way: "They scored 43 points but that's mistakes we made. Houston is a great team. We knew after they played against Green Bay, you got to know they're are going to come and fight their hearts out  and protect their field.

"Like I told the guys, it's like we're two different teams at home and on the road.  We can't be that. We can't go out there and make the mistakes that we made and expect to be in the game. I know I looked up one time we gave up 12 first downs in the first half and we had three first downs on offense. You can't win like that. … We don't get any turnovers and the plays we should make but didn't make, they get turnovers and they score. That momentum shifted and they rode that wave."

After this bye week, they're at the one-win Cleveland Browns on Nov. 4. If the Ravens can't snap out of it there, then maybe it will be time to push the panic button.

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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?