Quick Links

Ravens report card: Defense, special teams play well in loss


Ravens report card: Defense, special teams play well in loss

We've already graded the offense after the Ravens' 15-13 setback to the Browns. Now we turn the attention to the defense and special teams. The report card, please ...


The Dolphins ran surprisingly well at the teeth of the Ravens defense. Lamar Miller ran for 113 yards and the Dolphins averaged 5.3 yards a carry on 26 runs. Timmy Jernigan recorded a couple of hits on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but Jernigan and Lawrence Guy saw extensive time and neither recorded a tackle. Too often, the play simply got past them. Brandon Williams was quiet as well.


Daryl Smith had nine tackles and a sack, and the Ravens linebackers, particularly C.J. Mosley, were improved in pass coverage after being torched in the middle of the field by Cleveland last week. Zach Orr saw some more action as a coverage linebacker. Courtney Upshaw came up with the Ravens only fumble recovery, although the Dolphins at times got to the edge in the running game for some nice yardage.


Ryan Tannehill didn't help himself with some terrible throws, but the Ravens secondary was strong, holding Tannehill and the Dolphins to 86 yards passing -- with 38 coming on one play. The touchdown pass to DeVante Parker was a sensational grab as he leaped high above Lardarius Webb. The Ravens completely negated Jarvis Landry, holding him to two catches for 5 yards. Kendrick Lewis finished with five tackles and a big forced fumble that was recovered by Courtney Upshaw. But the interceptions continue to elude this group; the Ravens remain stuck on a league-low four through 12 games.


Sam Koch netted 46.4 yards on five punts and boomed a 67-yarder. Justin Tucker hit two field goals but missed another from outside 50. Granted, there was wind and rain, but he said he thought he hit it well. Tucker is now 2-for-8 from 50-plus this year. Kaelin Clay averaged 10 yards on four punt returns, and he looks like he's close to breaking another big one. The Ravens came up with another blocked kick, although this one, on an extra-point kick, was called back because of a penalty. Special teams penalties have been far too frequent all season.

[RELATED: Ravens drop another close one to Miami]

Quick Links

Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

USA Today Sports Images

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.

Quick Links

Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

USA TODAY Sports Images

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?