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The view from Cincinnati


The view from Cincinnati

Here is what somemedia covering the Bengals had to say about the Ravens' 44-13 season-openingwin over Cincinnati at M&T Bank Stadium on Monday night:
Paul Daugherty, CincinnatiEnquirer"The Bengalswere entirely forgettable Monday night. ... The prime-time footlights favoredthe Ravens. They blinded the Bengals. Bengals 13, Ravens 44 was anembarrassment. Flat out. ... This could have been a chance to turn somenational heads, away from the division-darling Ravens and their anointed"elite" QB, Joe Flacco, and toward the team in Flyover Country.Instead, it was an affirmation that the "experts" were right on themoney, at least for a week."Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com"The Bengals bidto compete with the elite of the AFC North blew up badly in front of a MondayNight Football audience at M&T Bank Stadium when the Ravens went into thefourth quarter scoring two points for every minute they had the ball. ...
Bengals-killer EdReed completed the bloody deed with a 34-yard interception return for atouchdown late in the third quarter ... Throw in a fumbleby (Andy) Dalton as Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata drove his 330 pounds into histhrowing shoulder and the rout was both ugly and long."

Josh Kirkendall, Cincyjungle.comThis wasCincinnati's night in a nut shell. A slice of Swiss cheese with peppered holesfor Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to complete footballs three times the size ofregulation. Gaps for trains like Ray Rice to split through the line ofscrimmage, carrying conversations with escorting offensive linemen beforefeeling pressure from late-arriving Bengals defenders. ...Baltimore'soffense wore down Cincinnati's defense and Andy Dalton's offense slowlydeclined into an embarrassment of turnovers and defeated facial expressions....But again it wasCincinnati's defense that disappointed most of Cincinnati's prospects. Grantedthe Ravens were expected to win the game, but Cincinnati was also expected tohave their starters playing midway into the fourth quarter. Instead it turnedinto a preseason game with backups and clock-killing runs that an empty Ravensstadium watched unfold." Joe Reedy, CincinnatiEnquirer"Theconsensus on opinions was that the Bengals were going to lose, but no oneexpected it to be as bad as it turned out. In a lot of ways it resembled the2010 opener at New England, where the Bengals came out flat and the 14-pointmargin of defeat did not indicate how one-sided it was. In this one, the31-point margin showed how much of a drubbing this truly was.If the Bengalswere trying to make a statement, there were an abundance of things they showed the secondary continues to be a major concern, the linebackers continue tostruggle and the learning curve appears steeper than it was earlier Monday. Thepositives? Other receivers stepped up and the Bengals have a back in(BenJarvus) Green-Ellis."

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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?