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Pro Bowl 2018: Three Ravens defenders earn roster spots

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USA Today Sports

Pro Bowl 2018: Three Ravens defenders earn roster spots

They are one of the strongest defenses in the league, so it should be no surprise that three Ravens defenders earned roster spots in the 2018 Pro Bowl.

It was announced Tuesday that outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, safety Eric Weddle and inside linebacker C.J. Mosley were voted to make the trip to Orlando, Florida in January.

Weddle and Mosley were also named starters.

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This will be Terrell Suggs' seventh Pro Bowl in 15 seasons. So far in 2017 he has 43 combined tackles, four forced fumbles and 11 sacks. This will be his first Pro Bowl appearance since 2013 and at 35-years old, Suggs told reporters he's shocked to have made the roster. 

I’m speechless. Every time you make it, it’s like making it for the first time all over again. It’s a really great feeling, Suggs stated. I want to thank all the fans who voted, and I thank my coaches and teammates, as they all have a high expectation for me. I also thank the organization for believing in a 15-year vet.

Eric Weddle is making his fifth Pro Bowl appearance, his second as a Baltimore Raven. 

In 2017, Weddle has 60 combined tackles, two forced fumbles and leads the team in interceptions with a whopping six. He's even listed under the scoring column with one 45-yard touchdown. 

He's one interception away from tying his personal record made back in 2011 with the San Diego Chargers.

At 32-years old, he feels stronger than ever.

I’ve never worked as hard as I did this past year to try and get better from last season and help this team and lead even more so, Weddle said. I’m ecstatic because I’ve done so much over the last year to get back to this point, to help my team win, and to hopefully get back to the playoffs.

Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley will be attending his third Pro Bowl in four seasons. 

In 2017, he has 121 tackles, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and one 63-yard touchdown. His 121 tackles on the season is currently ranked sixth-most in the league. 

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How has the 25-year old made it to his third Pro Bowl? Mosley credits his teammates for keeping offensive lineman off him. 

I give a lot of credit to the D-line for keeping [offensive] linemen off me, Mosley said. I also have to thank ‘Wink’ [Linebackers Coach Don Martindale] for putting me in great positions, and I thank coach [John] Harbaugh and [Defensive Coordinator] Dean Pees. Really, it’s great to be able to share this with my teammates.

To much surprise, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker and punter Sam Koch did not make the final list. Tucker was named an alternate.

Steelers kicker Chris Boswell beat out Tucker even though his stats are not nearly as good. Tucker hasn't missed a field goal or extra point since October.

Sam Koch was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 15 after placing three punts within the five-yard line Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. He is the first punter to receive this honor several times in a single season since 2006.

Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern will be completing the job come January.

The Pro Bowl will take place January 28th in Orlando, Florida. 

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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.

The 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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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. 

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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. 

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