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List of Ravens' 2018 opponents officially released


List of Ravens' 2018 opponents officially released

Coming back from a heartbreaking season could either decimate a locker room or motivate the Baltimore Ravens for the 2018 season. 

After their dramatic 31-27 loss to Cincinnati, kicking the Ravens out of the postseason, their 2018 list of opponents was made official.

Each year every team in the NFL will play their division opponents twice (home and away), one division in the AFC, and one division in the NFC. The latter two are based on a set three or four-year rotation and consistent for the division. This accounts for 14 of the 16 game schedule.

Insuring parity in the NFL, the league creates the last two matchups based on where teams finished the previous season. It leads to favorable schedules for teams near the bottom of the standings and more competitive schedules for the teams near the top. This generates the popular 'worst-to-first' finish in the division in sequential seasons. 

Based on these rules we already know who the Baltimore Ravens will be playing in the 2018 season. 

AFC North matchups are a given, but the other two divisions the rest of the AFC North will play are the AFC West and the NFC South (the NFC division that has three of their four teams in the playoffs this year).

Since the Ravens finished second in the AFC North they will also play the two other AFC teams that finished second in their respective division: the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans.


Ravens 2018 Opponents:

Ravens 2018 Home Opponents:

Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers
Denver Broncos (AFC West)
Oakland Raiders (AFC West)
New Orleans Saints (NFC South)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC South)
Buffalo Bills (AFC East)

Ravens 2018 Away Opponents:

Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers
Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West)
Los Angeles Chargers (AFC West)
Carolina Panthers (NFC South)
Atlanta Falcons (NFC South)
Tennessee Titans (AFC South)

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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?