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1st and 10: Ten predictions for Ravens-Eagles

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1st and 10: Ten predictions for Ravens-Eagles

It's time again for our weekly predictions, as we look more closely at some of the key issues and players in Sunday's Ravens-Eagles game:
1. The Eagleswill not score on their opening possession.The Ravens allowed only oneopening-possession score in the regular season last year, a touchdown by SanDiego. The Eagles' first possession lastweek against Cleveland ended with a fumble, and the Ravens will keep the Eaglesat bay early again.2. Ray Rice willhave 20 touches.In 2010 and 2011,the Ravens were 21-2 when Rice had 20 touches, and 5-8 when he did not. Ricehad just 13 touches in the Ravens' 44-13 win over the Bengals on Monday night,in part because of the new-look offense, but also in part because he sat outmost of the fourth quarter once the Ravens got their big lead. This week willbe a tougher test, and Rice's number will be called more often.3. Joe Flaccowill be sacked at least three times.The Ravens' youngline, which featured two starters playing in their first NFL regular-seasongame (T Kelechi Osemele, G Ramon Harewood), fared pretty well against theBengals. But they yielded three sacks and the Bengals were missing one of theirtop pass rushers. The Eagles will spread their rushers wide, and DE Jason Babin (18 sacks last year), DT CullenJenkins and company will test the Ravens from the edge as well as stunting up themiddle.4. The Ravenswill have three pass plays of 20 yards.The Ravens hadsix plays of 20 yards last week, all through the air, and they spread thewealth around: Those six plays went to five different receivers: Torrey Smith,Anquan Boldin, Jacoby Jones, Deonte Thompson and tight end Dennis Pitta. Flaccowill again look downfield, and if the deep receivers stretch the field, Pittaand tight end Ed Dickson could work free for big gains underneath.5. The Ravenstight ends will have at least seven catches.Pitta and Dicksontotaled seven catches for 95 yards last week, and Pitta remains one of Flacco'sfavorite targets. He had a team-high nine passes thrown his way last week,finishing with five catches for 73 yards. Flacco will look to this duo oftenagain.6. CourtneyUpshaw will have at least four tackles.The Ravens' topdraft pick this April had an underwhelming training camp, at times slowed by ashoulder injury, but defensive coordinator Dean Pees said he is" startingto come around" and is "starting to feel a little more comfortable inthe defense." Just in time, too, because Paul Kruger (back) isquestionable, so it's possible Upshaw will start. He had four tackles off thebench against Cincinnati. Expect him to at least match that output against theEagles.7. The Eagleswill rush for more than 100 yards.Somewhat lost inthe Ravens' big win was a serious issue with run defense. BenJarvus Green-Ellisaveraged 5.1 yards a carry, and the Ravens allowed 129 yards rushing on 28carries (4.6 avg.). This week they must deal with LeSean McCoy, who ran for 110yards against Cleveland last week, as well as a scrambling Michael Vick.8. The Ravenswill get an interception.Vick threw fourinterceptions against Cleveland last week, and the Ravens have the personnel inthe secondary to make him pay for his mistakes again. The Ravens need togenerate a pass rush to force his hand. Will Ed Reed be adding to his NFLrecord for interception return yardage?9. The Ravenswill have a 30-yard kickoff return.One surprise lastweek was the Ravens used rookie Deonte Thompson, and not Jacoby Jones, as theprimary kick returner. He averaged 22.0 yards on four returns. Special teamscoordinator Jerry Rosburg wouldn't commit to that same arrangement this week,but both Thompson and Jones are big-play threats any time they touch the ball.10. Eagles 23,Ravens 20This is assumingthe Eagles' wide receivers are healthy enough to play -- and Lardarius Webb,for one, is sure they are. The Eagles and Michael Vick will not stumble and bumbleas bad as they did last weekend in Cleveland. The Ravens revamped offensive linewill face a very stiff test, and they need to protect Flacco if this new-lookoffense is to succeed. The Ravens won't lay an egg like they did in Week 2 the past two years, but the Eagles will have just enough to win their raucous home opener.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: What to look out for at OTAs

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: What to look out for at OTAs

Kick off your Thursday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including what to watch for at OTAs.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. As the Ravens try and bolster their pass rush during the offseason, they hope to find much-needed help from outside linebacker, Shane Ray. The Ravens picked up Ray from the Denver Broncos where he had an unproductive last two seasons due to injury, only registering one sack in each of the past two seasons. However, Ray had a phenomenal career at Missouri as a unanimous All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. The Ravens have given Ray a shot at a career reboot and fans are excited to see what he's got.

2. Thursday is the media's first opportunity to get a look at the 2019-20 Ravens. Ravens writer Ryan Mink writes seven things to look out for at OTAs including, attendance from veterans even though OTAs are mandatory, a look at linebacker development with the signings of namely Pernell McPhee and Shane Ray and a first look at the rookie class to name a few.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens rank higher than expected in preseason rankings

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens rank higher than expected in preseason rankings

Kick off your Wednesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including a high preseason ranking for the Ravens.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Ravens ranked higher than expected in Peter King's preseason rankings. King ranked the Ravens at No. 12, surprising for a defense that is working on development during this offseason. However, with the Ravens' signing of All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, maybe he will bring the fire the Ravens need on defense.

2. With day 2 of OTAs in the books, the focus has been on quarterback Lamar Jackson. Ravens writer, Kevin Eck noted that during the offseason, Jackson had been working out with Ravens quarterbacks coach, Joshua Harris along with receivers Jordan Lasley and Jaylen Smith, so it remains to be seen throughout the summer on whether or not he has improved namely his passing game. 

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.

MORE RAVENS NEWS