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What to watch: Will O-line protect Flacco?

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What to watch: Will O-line protect Flacco?

With the Redskins set to take on the Ravens, we take a look at the important matchups to watch for both teams. 

OFFENSIVE LINE

Ravens Insider Clifton Brown - Rick Wagner has won the starting right tackle spot, but this could be his last action before Week 1. If Wagner plays well, he will enter the regular season with confidence. If he struggles, that will raise concern.

The Cowboys put pressure on Joe Flacco early, and Ryan Kerrigan of the Redskins had two sacks against the Browns. Left tackle Eugene Monroe and Wagner need to prevent Kerrigan and company from creating pressure off the edge. Getting Flacco nicked up before the regular season is the last thing the Ravens need.

The Ravens’ preseason running game has been impressive. The offensive line wants to continue that momentum. Left guard Kelechi Osemele and right guard Marshal Yanda have been winning their one-on-one battles with physical play. New center Jeremy Zuttah has the starting offensive line in sync, but this is the final dress rehearsal for starters prior to Week 1. Coach John Harbaugh will be looking for a clean game from the offensive line – no false starts, no costly holding penalties.

RELATED: [Will Ravens address secondary issues?]

Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir - After a mostly uneventful first two preseason games for the Redskins’ offensive line, the Trent Williams-led unit will face its first substantial test Saturday night at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. It’s preseason game No. 3, so both teams will treat it like a dress rehearsal, meaning starters will play at least a half, if not longer. 

The subject of criticism and scrutiny a year ago, Williams and Co. will want to keep the pocket clean for Robert Griffin III, who has been sacked once in 40 preseason snaps and hurried only a few times. But it won’t be an easy task against a formidable Ravens’ lineup that features Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Daryl Smith.

The Redskins’ line—Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester and Tyler Polumbus—was assembled early this offseason and has taken every first team rep together. But … things can change in a hurry in the NFL.

Guard Spencer Long and tackle Morgan Moses — both third round picks in May — were targeted early because the Redskins hope they’ll become starters sooner rather than later. So far, neither has managed to crack the first unit. But a weak effort by a starter on Saturday, coupled with strong effort from one of the rookies could start that conversation.

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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.

They 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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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