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Will Ravens end takeaway drought this week?


Will Ravens end takeaway drought this week?

The Ravens might have found the perfect opponent to end their turnover drought.

Like the Ravens, the Jaguars come into Sunday's game with a minus-7 turnover ratio; both teams are tied for the third-worst turnover ratio in the league. Quarterback Blake Bortles has thrown 10 interceptions, with at least one in four straight games.

In other words, the odds are the Ravens will finally record a takeaway, something that hasn't happened since Week 3 against Cincinnati. The Ravens returned a fumble for a touchdown in that game -- their only defensive fumble recovery all season -- and also had an interception. Since then, the Ravens have gone nearly 5 1/2 games without a pick.

The Ravens (2-6) are on pace for six interceptions, which would shatter the previous franchise record-low of 11, set in 2005 and tied last season.

"We have not gotten enough turnovers," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said on Wednesday. "If we’re getting turnovers, our record is dramatically different. Those games could have turned on one turnover."

Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who has two of the Ravens' three interceptions, said, “Part of that is just going out there and being aggressive sometimes – going out and hitting the ball carrier. There are things you can’t do at practice that you have to do in the game, like putting a helmet on a ball, punching a ball out."

If there's one team that can relate to the Ravens issues, it is Jacksonville. The Jaguars went five games without an interception earlier this year, and like the Ravens, have just three all season. Last year, the Jaguars tied for last in the league with six pickoffs.

"We’ve got to do a better job, too, defensively getting turnovers, and I think every team in the league preaches turnovers or creating take-aways," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said in a conference call with Baltimore media.

"You just have trust that (turnovers) will eventually come. ... Sometimes getting the quarterback off the spot or (applying) pressure or forcing him to make quick decisions, that sometimes gives you opportunities for interceptions," he added.

Bortles knows plenty about pressure; the Jaguars allowed a franchise-record 71 sacks last season and have allowed 25 so far this year. A good pass rush is a secondary's best friend, and the Ravens --- and Jaguars -- will be hoping that pressure might lead to interceptions, which have come far too infrequently this year.

"Our defense has a history of getting turnovers," Harbaugh said. "It’s how we expect to play defense, and we’re emphasizing it. We’re trying to create schemes to create those opportunities, and we’re trying to create the level of energy that you need to find the football.”

MORE RAVENS: Five career milestones Ravens can reach this season

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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.

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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?