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Upon further review ...Revisiting our 10 predictions


Upon further review ...Revisiting our 10 predictions

It's time again to go under the replay hood and review our 10 predictions for the Ravens-Browns game:

1. The Ravens will score a first-quarter touchdown.

CORRECT. For the first time since Week 2, the Ravens found the end zone in the first quarter. Establishing the run early, Ray Rice had six carries for 32 yards on the Ravens' opening drive, which ended with his 8-yard touchdown run. It was the Ravens' first opening-drive touchdown all season.

2. Ray Rice will have 20 carries.

CORRECT. As expected, the Ravens made Rice a bigger part of the offense than they had in quite some time. The Browns bottled him up for long stretches, but Rice finished with a season-high 25 carries for 98 yards and one touchdown.

3. Bernard Pierce will have at least six touches.

CORRECT. Spelling Rice at times, Pierce also established a season high with seven carries for 26 yards as the Ravens stayed true to the running game. Late in the first quarter, the rookie from Temple took a toss around left end and scored on a 12-yard run for his first touchdown as a pro.

4. Anquan Boldin will have at least four catches.

CORRECT. Boldin torched the Browns in the earlier meeting this season between the teams, with nine catches for 131 yards. He wasn't quite as prolific this time, with five catches for 57 yards, but he was a huge part of the win. On the Ravens' opening touchdown drive, Boldin had three catches for 30 yards. Then in the fourth quarter, after the Ravens offense had been in a deep freeze, Boldin caught a 21-yard pass for their first first down in more than a quarter.

5. Joe Flacco will throw fewer than 30 passes.

CORRECT. With the Ravens turning to Rice and Pierce out of the backfield, the passing game took a back seat. Flacco completed 15 of 24 passes for 153 yards and one touchdown, the nice 19-yard, fake inside, spin outside, beat them to the corner score by Torrey Smith. Flacco has never thrown 30 passes against the Browns, and his total of 24 passes Sunday was his lowest of the season.

6. Trent Richardson will rush for 100 yards.

CORRECT.  The Ravens run defense was much improved over the past few weeks, but Richardson still proved to be a handful, rushing 25 times for 102 yards. Overall, though, the Browns rushed for 116 yards, a dramatic improvement for a Ravens run defense that had yielded an average of 207 yards over the previous three games.

7. Terrell Suggs will have a sack.

INCORRECT. Coming off the bye week and seeing his second game action since his Achilles injury, Suggs did play but was fairly quiet, with four tackles and no sacks. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe recorded the Ravens' only sack of Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden.

8. Josh Gordon will have a catch of at least 25 yards.

CORRECT. The Browns rookie was open at times and Weeden didn't see him or didn't get him the ball, but Gordon did have one catch of 26 yards. He entered the game averaging an NFL-best 22.3 yards a catch, and finished with two catches for 38 yards.

9. The Ravens will win time of possession.

CORRECT. The defense finally got a breather this week after being on the field way too long the previous few games. Relying primarily on the running game, the Ravens had the ball for 31:32, marking the first time since the first Browns game in Week 4 that the Ravens won the time of possession battle.

10.Ravens 23, Browns 20

KIND OF CORRECT. The Ravens extended their streak to 10 straight wins over the Browns, and won their 15th straight game immediately after a loss, but as we predicted, it wasn't easy. The Browns were their own worst enemy at times, but credit the Ravens for stiffening in the red zone and keeping Cleveland out of the end zone. The Ravens' 25-15 win makes John Harbaugh 5-0 immediately after the bye.


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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?