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Ravens-Falcons: The basics

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Ravens-Falcons: The basics

Who: Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons

What: 2012 preseason opener

When: Thursday, Aug. 9

Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta

TV: WMAR (Ch. 2) and WBAL Plus

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM), 98 Rock (97.9 FM)

Records: Last season the Ravens went 12-4, won the AFC North and were eliminated from the playoffs in the AFC title game, while the Falcons went 10-6, finished second in the NFC South and lost in the wild-card round

Ravens newcomers: The following veterans will make their Baltimore debuts after signing with the team as free agents during the offseason: receiverreturner Jacoby Jones, safety Sean Considine, cornerback Corey Graham, guard Bobbie Williams, nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu.

Injuries: Dennis Pitta (broken hand), David Reed (knee) and Terrell Suggs (Achilles) are out, and a number of other Ravens might not play, including Matt Birk (back), Jimmy Smith (back) and Courtney Upshaw (shoulder).

Six questions to be answered:

1) How does Paul Kruger fare against the run?

Few Ravens are under more scrutiny than the fourth-year linebacker, a starter for the first time in 2012. He fared well as a pass rusher last season but the Ravens really want to know if he can set the edge of a run defense, which is job No. 1 for a Baltimore defense. Thats one skill that can be determined to a degree in a preseason game.

2) How does Bryant McKinnie look if he plays?

The Ravens might elect to wait a week to put him on the field, seeing as he just returned to practice earlier this week. Theres little doubt Michael Oher will start at left tackle, with rookie Kelechi Osemele on the right side. But the Ravens only have a month to make sure McKinnie is still their man after his turbulent offseason, and they might want to get started.

3) Do any of the backup running backs emerge?

To this point, none of the four guys vying for the job of Ray Rices backup has stood out in training camp. Anthony Allen, Bernard Pierce, Damien Berry and Bobby Rainey should all get carries and looks in this game. Pierce, a third-round draft pick, is the guy who should do it, but if no one steps forward, the Ravens might go out and sign a veteran.

4) Does rookie Justin Tucker get the first field-goal attempt?

He is trying to take Billy Cundiffs job, and his performance in the first weeks of training camp has been lights out, even Cundiff admits. Although Cundiff remains the favorite, the Ravens are understandably curious to see if the kid with the huge leg can kick as well in a game as he does in practice.

5) How do the two rookie offensive linemen hold up?

Aside from Osemele, who has looked rugged in practices, Gino Gradkowski is expected will start at center instead of Matt Birk, who is being rested for the season. Both young linemen have exceeded the teams immediate expectations and could be in line to become regulars as early as next year. How they fare in their first game action could be telling.

6) Is Sergio Kindle really that much better?

His position coach recently said yhe young linebacker had made a quantum leap in his third season. Yet he was recently seen getting stonewalled by Osemele in a one-on-one drill. It has taken him a long time to know the game well enough to possibly show what he can do. That opportunity starts now.

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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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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