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Ravens report card: Too little, too late for defense, special teams

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Ravens report card: Too little, too late for defense, special teams

We've already graded the offense after its performance in the Ravens' 26-18 loss at Arizona. Now it's time to hand out the report card to the defense and special teams:

DEFENSIVE LINE: B-

The Cardinals totaled 150 rushing yards, but of course 60 of those come with a huge asterisk, as Chris Johnson's 62-yard run should have been blown dead when his forward progress stopped with Brandon Williams holding on to him. Chris Canty was back in action for the first time in a month, and after being run over on his first snap, he was strong all night. He finished with six tackles, the most he's had in his three years with the Ravens, with one for a loss.

LINEBACKERS: C+

Zach Orr and C.J. Mosley recorded sacks, and Elvis Dumervil applied consistent pressure. Twice he knocked Carson Palmer's hand just as he released the ball. But Dumervil whiffed on the tackle on Chris Johnson's first-quarter touchdown run, and Ravens linebackers still struggle in coverage. Albert McClellan and Za'Darius Smith didn't make much of an impact as pass rushers.

SECONDARY: C

The Ravens clearly didn't want to get beaten deep, but giving Cardinals receivers a 10- or 12-yard cushion at the line of scrimmage made it just too easy for Carson Palmer. It's puzzling why the Cardinals didn't attack the secondary more often. Palmer did take shots deep at times, dropping a 35-yard throw in to John Brown, with Shareece Wright on coverage. Kyle Arrington has clearly fallen out of favor; he played just three defensive snaps. The Ravens once again failed to create any takeaways; that's now four straight games without an interception. It was a rough first start for safety Brynden Trawick, who missed a tackle on Chris Johnson's touchdown run and was called for pass interference in the end zone.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C+

Two of the game's biggest plays involved the Ravens special teams: Jeremy Ross' fumbled punt return led to an Arizona touchdown, and Asa Jackson's blocked punt led to a Ravens touchdown. Justin Tucker made his only field-goal attempt, and the Ravens did a good job containing dangerous return man Patrick Peterson. Kudos to Sam Koch and Darren Waller for executing a punt that was downed an inch from the goal line.

[RELATED: Harbaugh on Johnson's confusing run: 'I got no explanation']

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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