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Ravens-Eagles instant analysis


Ravens-Eagles instant analysis

Eagles 24, Ravens 23
at Lincoln Financial Field

The hurry-up offense went nowhere fast Sunday.

And when it came to coming up big in the clutch, quarterback Michael Vick upstaged Ravens counterpart Joe Flacco.

After Vick thew four interceptions in a come-from-behind, 17-16 victory at the Cleveland Browns, Vick did it again. He overcame two interceptions, passed 23-for-32 and 371 yards and had the go-ahead score on a 1-yard run after the two-minute warning.

The Ravens' defense did it's job, but was constantly asked to shoulder the burden with the offense failing to convert on nine of its first 10 third downs.

The defense forced the Eagles into four turnovers -- all on drives in Baltimore's territory, including two in the red zone, but Flacco couldn't establish enough of a cushion even though the Ravens led 17-7 at the half.

LeSean McCoy had two fumbles for Philadelphia. The first was on a botched handoff that was recovered by Albert McClellan. The second on came on a hit by Lardarius Webb, jarring the ball loose for Ray Lewis to recover.

It wasn't enough as Flacco didn't have the stellar statistical game that he had a week ago when he threw for 299 yards, two touchdowns and a 124.8 passer rating. He was 22-for-42 for 232 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also lost a fumble.

Player of the game: Justin Tucker. Several players are worthy of note, such as McClellan, but Tucker is a rookie kicker in a hostile environment. He hit three field goals, two from more than 50 yards, that almost proved to be the difference. He tied a Ravens record from 56 yards to give his team a 17-7 lead at the half and gave them them the lead again at 20-17 in the fourth from 51 yards. His 48-yarder set the final margin. Tucker converted more field goals from 50-plus yards in this one game than veteran Billy Cundiff, who he beat out for the job, made all of last season.

Turning point: After going 1-for-9 on third downs as the offense stalled drive after drive, Flacco converted a 3rd-and-11 and 3rd-and-8 on passes to Ray Rice in the fourth quarter, the latter going for 37 yards to set up Tucker's third field goal. But Jacoby Jones' touchdown catch, also on third down, was erased because he was called for pass interference. The Ravens only led by six rather than 10, which would've put the game out of reach for Vick.

Heads-up play: When Tucker nailed a 56-yard field goal with one second left in the second quarter, it was well-orchestrated. The Eagles got the ball with 1:05 left after a key punt by Sam Koch pinned the Eagles on their own 6-yard line. Coach Andy Reid opted to run the ball and run out the clock, but the Ravens wisely used their timeouts to force a punt instead. Eagles punter Chas Henry floated his second duck of the game, this one traveled only 38 yards, as the Ravens took over at Philadelphia's 38 with 18 seconds left. They ran one play and then brought out Tucker for a two-possession edge.

Highlights: The much-maligned run defense, even without Paul Kruger (back), performed well in holding McCoy to 81 yards on 25 carries. Deonte Thompson shows why he's still the primary kick returner. After the Ravens fell down 7-0 in the first quarter, he brought the ball back 49 yards to give them a short field. ... Upshaw and McClellan had solid performances. Upshaw dropped McCoy for a four-yard loss as he got to the edge of the red zone.

Lowlights: Pass protection still is a question mark. Flacco was sacked three times vs. Cincinnati, and he was hit early in this one, leading to a fumble that resulted in Philadelphia's first touchdown. It was the first turnover of the season. He was sacked twice Sunday ... The Ravens took a gamble near midfield in the second quarter. Sean Considine took the snap on 4th-and-4 in a punt formation but was stopped a yard shy. Fortunately for the Ravens, the defense forced a turnover to negate it. ... Overall they were 4-for-14 on third downs. ... Rice rushed for 99 yards on 16 carries. He needed more.

Injury: Bernard Pollard left in the first half with what appeared to be an injury to his right shoulder and didn't return.

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

And with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select.... a quarterback?

Assistant general manager, and soon to be general manager, Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility that the Ravens use their first-round pick on drafting a quarterback to eventually replace Joe Flacco. 

"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 draft a quarterback in the first-round. 

Quarterback is just one of many offensive needs for the team. Joe Flacco's stats have been trending downward as the 33-year old is entering his 11th season.


Owner Steve Bisciotti though may disagree with DeCosta.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, Bisciotti said, "That’s not really something that we’re worried about right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess. I don’t consider that a big worry," in regards to looking at life after Joe. Bisciotti also noted the team would be looking at all options in free agency and the draft for weapons for their QB.

From the sound of that, it appears the team's first choice would be a wideout, but the Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since Joe Flacco back in 2008. 

The 2018 NFL Draft class has a handful of strong quarterbacks to choose from and not a ton of first-round wide receivers. 

Former Ravens scout, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has predicted the team with take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in the first-round. 

"It basically depends on our evaluation and how we feel about the guy, what we think he can become as a player and what we think his upside is and if he's there," DeCosta said

Backup Ryan Mallet is a free agent so the organization will have to find someone to fill the role, whether it's someone on a one year-deal, or the future QB of the franchise. 


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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver 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 Schefter.

After being released by the Raiders on 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 wide receiver 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.