Ravens

Quick Links

Upon further review: Ravens now reside in NFL cellar

usatsi_8886195.jpg

Upon further review: Ravens now reside in NFL cellar

Here’s another question for the Ravens, as they absorb the aftermath of their latest gut-wrenching loss.

Is this rock bottom? Or will the Ravens finish the 2015 season with a worse record than they could have ever imagined, looking like a franchise that needs to rebuild, not reload?

Monday night’s 26-18 loss to the Cardinals dropped the Ravens to 1-6, sharing the worst record in the NFL with the Lions. When the season began, who thought the Ravens would enter Week 8 with a worse record than the Titans, Jaguars, Buccaneers, and Browns?

It’s not like the Ravens are quitting. They almost pulled off a major comeback in the fourth quarter Monday night, with Asa Jackson blocking a punt to set up one touchdown, and a last-minute drive that didn’t fizzle out until Joe Flacco threw an interception in the final seconds.

But in today’s parity-driven NFL, you can’t be 1-6 unless you are a bad football team. Especially when you’re not quitting, and when your starting quarterback has been healthy all season.

The Ravens don’t have enough playmakers. They don’t have enough team speed on offense or defense. They don’t have enough quality corners to prevent opposing quarterbacks from finding mismatches they can milk for key completions.

Flacco lamented the Ravens’ lack of explosiveness after Monday’s loss.

“On offense, we don’t quite have the explosiveness to take drives over and score quickly, get big chunks consistently,” Flacco said following Monday’s game.

You can talk about how close the Ravens’ losses have been. You can certainly talk about how bad the officiating was Monday night. Ravens guard John Urschel did almost everything except breakdance to get the officials’ attention that he was reporting as an eligible receiver, yet the Ravens were called for an illegal formation. Chris Johnson’s forward progress was stopped on his 62-yard run. That play should have been blown dead when Johnson was lying on top of Ravens’ defensive tackle Brandon Williams.

But the Ravens have become adept at finding different ways to lose. Whether it’s a turnover, a blown assignment, or a missed opportunity, the Ravens hurt themselves over and over, week after week. They have the fortitude, but not the talent to overcome key mistakes.

“Turnovers, we aren’t getting enough, and we have too many,” said coach John Harbaugh. “Those are the areas that we have to get better at. One thing about us right now, we’re the kind of team that has to minimize mistakes, and we have to execute. And we’re going to be forced to develop the ability to do that with perfection. In the long run, that’s going to be good for us.”

But in the short run, the process could be painful. The Ravens thought the last two months of this season would be about making a playoff push. Instead, the front office and Harbaugh need to figure out why they thought the 2015 Ravens would be so much better than they really are.

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

 

 

 

Quick Links

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

MORE RAVENS

Quick Links

As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

jackson-usat.png
USA TODAY Sports

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