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A dirty hit or an error by Flacco? Thursday Night Football shows a tale of two opinions

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A dirty hit or an error by Flacco? Thursday Night Football shows a tale of two opinions

Was it a dirty hit or an error on Flacco's part?

That's the big question Friday morning after Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco took a massive hit while sliding to get a first down from Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso during Thursday Night Football. 

Flacco, who's had a very bad 2017 season, turned on the jets in the second quarter when Alonso's shoulder came right to Flacco's head, immediately knocking his helmet off and cutting his ear.

Flacco was visibly dazed and confused and signaled to the sideline for assistance before picking himself up off the field and heading straight to the locker room, where he was put on concussion protocol and later ruled out.

RELATED: RAVENS-DOLPHINS WAS A JOKE

Ravens players, coaches and fans were not happy with Alonso, who they felt should have been ejected after the hit. Alonso was flagged for unnecessary roughness giving the Ravens a first down and eventually a touchdown.

So why not an ejection?

Some people feel it was clearly a dirty hit on Flacco while others, including some members of the TNF halftime crew, pointed out that Flacco slid a second too late considering a defensive player was coming towards him full speed.

Flacco isn't known for his elite sliding skills and he could have slid a bit sooner, but aren't QB's and concussions in general a big bullet point in league safety rules these days? 

Per ESPN's Jamison Hensley's recent article, league rules state to "treat a sliding runner as they would a runner who is down by contact" and "pull up when a runner begins a feet-first slide," which Flacco appeared to do. 

"If a defender has already committed himself...and the contact is unavoidable, it is not a foul unless the defender makes forcible contact into the head or neck area of the runner with the helmet, shoulder, or forearm, or commits some other act that is unnecessary roughness."

Alonso clearly led with his shoulder, but was it considered "flagrant" which would allow the refs to eject him?

That's were the difference in opinions lies. 

The hit on Flacco was brutal but could both players have avoided it with better decision making? That's hard to say in a live-action situation.

On one hand Flacco was trying to make a play for his team and on the other hand, Alonso claims he couldn't judge when Flacco was going to slide.

"That's out of my hands, man. ... It's a bang-bang play, and I hope he's all right," Alonso said. I truly do."

"When a guy slides, the target is very small. I just think it [Flacco's slide] was a second late, which is why I hit him, to be honest with you. At first I was anticipating I thought he was going to slide. And then it got to a point where I was like, 'I got to him,' because he slid too late."

Many quarterbacks avoid sliding for this very reason.

RELATED: RAVENS DEFENSE SHUTSOUT MIAMI DOLPHINS 40-0

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was visibly upset after his QB went down, running onto the field to try and confront Alonso.

When asked about the hit during the teams post-game press conference, Harbaugh said, "It was penalized correctly, I would say."

However, Ravens players felt the same in the locker room as the did on the field. 

"If you mess with one of us, you got to mess with all of us," defensive tackle Bandon Williams said.

"We went out there and gave everything we had for Joe, the team, the coaches and Baltimore. We had to let everybody know that you can't just mess with one of us and know expect to get hit 53 more times."

There certainly is a gray area.

So, going forward how does the league explain what is the right call?

Different calls have been made in similar scenarios and it may be time for the league to tweak their rules to avoid future confusion and to maintain consistency.

Per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the league is reviewing the hit.

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Ravens' defense earns third shutout of season, force 5 turnovers against Packers

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Ravens' defense earns third shutout of season, force 5 turnovers against Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Baltimore Ravens forced five turnovers in their third shutout of the season, blanking the Green Bay Packers 23-0 Sunday.

Baltimore last accomplished the feat when the Ray Lewis-led defense had four shutouts for the Super Bowl-winning team in 2000; the last NFL team to have three was New England in 2003. Jimmy Smith, Eric Weddle and Marlon Humphrey each picked off passes for Baltimore (5-5), which led the NFL in interceptions entering the weekend.

"It doesn't mean (anything) if we don't make the playoffs," veteran edge rusher Terrell Suggs said about the shutouts. "If we don't get in, you won't remember them."

RELATED: THREE THINGS WE'VE LEARNED ABOUT THE RAVENS THIS SEASON

A problematic offense couldn't generate a touchdown drive until Joe Flacco's perfect deep ball to Mike Wallace over two defenders for a 13-point lead nearly two minutes into the third quarter. Flacco threw for 183 yards, going 22 of 28 with an interception.

His lone touchdown pass was still enough of a cushion against a Packers team struggling without two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, out with a broken collarbone.

The Packers were last shut out on Nov. 19, 2006, when then-starter Brett Favre left with an elbow injury in the first half of a 35-0 loss to New England. Rodgers, then in his second year in the league, finished off that loss in relief.

Hundley, Rodgers' replacement this season, didn't fare any better.

He was 21 of 36 for 239 yards. But he threw interceptions on the Packers' first two series. On the third drive, backup running back Devante Mays fumbled on his first carry of the season.

"Our guys were playing so fast and covering so well, it just made it tough on" Hundley, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

Any big gains the rest of the day were negated by busted plays or penalties. The Packers (5-5) have lost four of their past five games.

"You have to take care of the football," coach Mike McCarthy said. "Offensively, that was way too much for us to overcome."

RELATED: NO SUSPENSION FOR DOLPHINS' KIKO ALONSO

Davante Adams was a lone bright spot, torching the Ravens' strong secondary for 126 yards on eight catches. The Packers actually outgained the Ravens 265-219. But turnovers sapped any momentum.

"We're not in panic mode, everything is still in front of us," Adams said. "We've got to get a grip of it real quick here. Otherwise we will be in panic mode."

Justin Tucker kicked three field goals for Baltimore. Alex Collins added a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:12 left. That score came a play after Hundley threw his third interception, returned 15 yards by Humphrey.

Collins had 49 yards on 20 carries, while Wallace finished with 56 yards on four catches.

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Ravens vs. Packers: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Ravens vs. Packers: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

The Ravens are back after their bye week and are headed to Green Bay, Wisconsin to take on the 5-4 Packers.

Prior to the bye week, the Ravens lost a close one to the Tennessee Titans, allowing Marucs Mariota to throw a late touchdown in the fourth to wide receiver Eric Decker. 

The first half of their season has been rough. Joe Flacco hasn't performed up to his Super Bowl MVP status and is looking to change that in their last seven games. 

RELATED: THREE THINGS WE'VE LEARNED ABOUT THE RAVENS SO FAR THIS SEASON 

Running back Danny Woodhead-who has been out since Week 1 with a hamstring injury- returned to practice and could be playing Sunday. 

The Ravens' receiving core hasn't shown up either. John Harbaugh's team is as healthy right now as they've been all season, something that will be very important in Lambeau Field. Can the Ravens get back on track and steal the sixth and final AFC playoff spot? Their first step could be against the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers.

The Packers have been without Rodgers since Week 6 and are now being lead by Brett Hundley.

Hundley currently has a 69.1% QB rating and 2 touchdowns, but is listed on their Week 11 injury report with a hamstring injury.

Packers starting running back Ty Montgomery, is listed a questionable and did not participate in Wednesday's practice with a rib injury.

RELATED: FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 RANKINGS 

They are ranked 22nd in the league in passing yards and 19th in rushing yards. Something the Ravens defense should be able to handle.

The Ravens and Packers have met five times, with the Packers leading the series 4-1. The last time they met was in October of 2013 when the Packers beat the Ravens on the road, 19-17.

Ahead of Sunday's game, here's everything you need to know to watch.

Week 11 Ravens vs. Packers Game Info:

Who: Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers

What: Week 11 NFL regular season 

When: 1:00 p.m.. ET, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017

Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

TV Channel: CBS

Live Stream: fuboTV

Radio: WBAL New Radio 1090 

Point Spread: Baltimore, -2

Over/Under: 38

Weather: 30 degrees, mostly sunny

BALTIMORE RAVENS 2017 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE:

Week 1 (Sun, Sept. 10): 20-0  at Cincinnati Bengals (W)

Week 2 (Sun, Sept. 17): 24-10 vs. Cleveland Browns (W)

Week 3 (Sun, Sept. 24): 44-7 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (in London) (L)

Week 4 (Sun, Oct. 1): vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 p.m. (L)

Week 5 (Sun, Oct. 8): at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m. (W)

Week 6 (Sun, Oct. 15): vs Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. (L)

Week 7 (Sun, Oct. 22): at Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m. (L)

Week 8 (Thur, Oct. 26): vs. Miami Dolphins, 8:25 p.m. (W)

Week 9 (Sun, Nov. 5): at Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m. (L)

Week 10 (Sun, Nov. 12): BYE week

Week 11 (Sun, Nov. 19): at Green Bay Packers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 12 (Mon, Nov. 27): vs. Houston Texans, 8:30 p.m.

Week 13 (Sun, Dec. 3): vs. Detroit Lions, 1:00 p.m.

Week 14: (Sun, Dec. 10): at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:30 p.m.

Week 15: (Sun, Dec. 17): at Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m.

Week 16: (Sat, Dec. 23): vs Indianapolis Colts, 4:30 p.m.

Week 17: (Sun, Dec. 31): vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m