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Ravens report card: Offense falters with Clausen


Ravens report card: Offense falters with Clausen

It's time once again to get out the red pen and grade the Ravens after their 34-14 loss to Kansas City, beginning with the offense:


Jimmy Clausen was again serviceable, moving the offense at times and producing a career-high 281 passing yards (26-for-45). Clausen threw two touchdowns, including a Hail Mary, and the pick-six he allowed occurred because his receiver (Daniel Brown) slipped and fell. Clausen doesn't have much to work with, but he operated well and did a nice job running to avoid pressure.


Terrance West (7-35) averaged 5 yards a carry, but Buck Allen learned that the quickest way to John Harbaugh's doghouse is by fumbling. After his second fumble in two weeks, Allen was benched for the rest of the game and finished with 18 yards on four carries. Terrence Magee got his first two carries of the season, totaling 5 yards, but showed little. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk caught a 1-yard touchdown pass among his five catches.


Jimmy Clausen was sacked twice and was hit five times, but this patchwork group held up fairly well against a tough defense. Kelechi Osemele again showed he's capable of playing left tackle, and the Ravens had some moderate success running the ball against the Chiefs' top-10 run defense. Center John Urschel had a few floater shotgun snaps that seemed to disrupt the Ravens timing.


After being shut out last week against Seattle, the tight ends at least contributed this week, with Maxx Williams catching five passes for 31 yards. Williams, though, was called for another penalty, his fifth, tied for the most among offensive players. Tackle James Hurst again worked as a blocking tight end.


Kamar Aiken continues to be one of the few bright spots for the Ravens, and recorded his first 100-yard day with eight catches for 128 yards, including a Hail Mary touchdown and a tough, 30-yard catch that set up the Ravens first score. Aiken (62-802, 5 TDs) has an outside shot for a 1,000-yard season, and has become the Ravens leader in every receiving category. Jeremy Butler (3-60) also contributed, but the rest of the receiving corps was largely invisible. Daniel Brown slipped and fell, leading to the Chiefs pick-six.

[RELATED: Chiefs CB celebrates pick-six vs. Ravens with Lewis dance]

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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?