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Top priority: Stopping Richardson


Top priority: Stopping Richardson

The Cleveland Browns didn't wow anyone with their victory last week, but running back Trent Richardson finally had a breakout performance and the Browns have won two of their last three games.

The Browns opened the season by losing their first five, including 23-16 in Baltimore on Sept. 27. They edged the San Diego Chargers 7-6 last week and will have a rematch with the Ravens in Cleveland on Sunday.

Unfavorable weather conditions in Cleveland grounded the offense and rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden's ability to throw. So rookie running back Trent Richardson stepped in to have his best game of the season with 122 yards on 24 carries. It was his first time reaching 100 yards since Week 2.

The Ravens kept him in check in their first meeting, holding Richardson to 47 yards on 14 carries. But Richardson seems past a rib injury that had limited him in recent weeks.

In their last three games, the Ravens' defense is allowing an average of 207 yards rushing. 

"It sure looks like he’s getting healthy," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "From what I’ve seen so far, he looks every bit like the third pick in the draft right now. And he’s got that big, physical offensive line. Obviously, that’s something that we’ve had issues with, stopping the run. So, we’d expect them to try to take advantage of that, and they’ve got the back to do it.”

The Ravens have had trouble scoring on the road, averaging just 15 points compared with 32 at home.

The Browns have had problems scoring, too. They've put up 20 points in the last two weeks and their receivers have been below average.

Weeden, however, hasn't had a turnover in 176 plays.

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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.