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Five observations from Ravens' disappointing loss to Bengals in season finale

Five observations from Ravens' disappointing loss to Bengals in season finale

CINCINNATI – The Ravens' 2016 season has come to an end following the team's dissapoiting 27-10 loss to the Bengals in Week 17.

Here are the Five instant observations after the Bengals dominated the Ravens:

1. The Ravens (8-8) looked hung over, not from New Year’s Eve, but from their loss in Pittsburgh.

Being eliminated from playoff contention against the Steelers last week seemed to deflate the Ravens. Their defense gave up points on every Bengals first half possession. The Bengals took a 20-3 lead into the third quarter and never looked back.

2. Some tough offseason questions await the Ravens.

Will Marty Mornhinweg return as offensive coordinator? Can the Ravens find more playmakers on offense and defense? John Harbaugh is expected to return as head coach, but an 8-8 season, and missing the playoffs for the third time in four seasons, puts everyone in the organization under the microscope.

3. This wasn’t the sendoff that wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. had in mind.

I’m sure Smith envisioned a victory, at least one touchdown, and some highlight-reel plays in his last NFL game. The legendary wide receiver capped his career with a 3-catch, 34-yard performance. This won’t change Smith’s brilliant 16-year career in any significant way. But when he sits down to reminiscence about the best moments in his career, this game won’t make the cut. 

4. The Bengals remain a pain for the Ravens, especially in Cincinnati.

The Bengals have won six of their last seven against the Ravens, whose last victory at Paul Brown Stadium came in 2011. The Steelers will enter 2017 as the defending champs in the AFC North, but the Bengals remain a puzzle that needs solving for the Ravens.

5. The Ravens are 31-33 during the regular season since winning Super Bowl XLVII four years ago.

The Ravens have just one playoff win during the last four years, and have missed the playoffs three of the last four seasons. As close as the Ravens came to beating the Steelers in Week 16, the big picture suggests the Ravens need a sense of urgency this offseason, to get their franchise back to being a true Super Bowl contender. 


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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

And with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select.... a quarterback?

Assistant general manager, and soon to be general manager, Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility that the Ravens use their first-round pick on drafting a quarterback to eventually replace Joe Flacco. 

"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 draft a quarterback in the first-round. 

Quarterback is just one of many offensive needs for the team. Joe Flacco's stats have been trending downward as the 33-year old is entering his 11th season.


Owner Steve Bisciotti though may disagree with DeCosta.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, Bisciotti said, "That’s not really something that we’re worried about right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess. I don’t consider that a big worry," in regards to looking at life after Joe. Bisciotti also noted the team would be looking at all options in free agency and the draft for weapons for their QB.

From the sound of that, it appears the team's first choice would be a wideout, but the Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since Joe Flacco back in 2008. 

The 2018 NFL Draft class has a handful of strong quarterbacks to choose from and not a ton of first-round wide receivers. 

Former Ravens scout, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has predicted the team with take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in the first-round. 

"It basically depends on our evaluation and how we feel about the guy, what we think he can become as a player and what we think his upside is and if he's there," DeCosta said

Backup Ryan Mallet is a free agent so the organization will have to find someone to fill the role, whether it's someone on a one year-deal, or the future QB of the franchise. 


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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.