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Blowout loss teaches valuable lesson


Blowout loss teaches valuable lesson

Maybe it’s true that something good can come out of a blowout loss.

It appears the Ravens, who were embarrassed 43-13 at the Houston Texans, picked up a thing or two -- or six.

In Sunday’s 55-20 beating of the Oakland Raiders, they swatted passes from Carson Palmer six times. One of the deflections by Paul Kruger resulted in an interception – by Kruger.

It was his first since his 2009 rookie season.

Terrell Suggs had two deflections. He even forced Palmer to change the angle on a complete pass that came short of the goal line. Instead of a touchdown, it was just a 4-yard completion to Darrius Heyward-Bey as he dove to the 3-yard line in making the catch. The Raiders settled for a field goal by Sebastian Janikowski.

Rookie DeAngelo Tyson, a seventh-round draft pick making his first start, had a pair of deflections also.

While players said defensive coordinator Dean Pees made them work on that technique going into the Raiders game, the evolution of this goes back a few weeks.

With time to reflect on what happened in Houston going into the bye week -- and undoubtedly the Ravens' inability to sack the quarterback -- Pees needed a Plan B. 

All he had to do was look at the game film. Texans defenders J.J. Watt and Connor Barwin harassed Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. They were masterful in deflecting passes, most notably one Watt tipped that was returned 52 yards by Johnathan Joseph for a touchdown that gave Houston a 16-3 lead. 

Baltimore never recovered.

When the defensive linemen take a step back, read the quarterback’s eyes and leap into the lanes there’s nothing an offensive lineman can do to stop it.

Flacco stands 6-foot-6, and he admitted even when his passes weren't deflected it gave him pause when trying to throw.

"The coaches want us to get our hands up and bat the ball down, especially when you can’t get to the quarterback," Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw said.  "You got to affect them and not let them get in a rhythm."

The Ravens may have found something to use for the rest of the season. They play at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in a prime-time game. 

"We're getting pressure but we're not getting our hands up," lineman Terrence Cody said after the defense reviewed the Houston loss.  "When we watched film on those guys we seen they were batting down passes. We knew if they can do it, we can do it. That's something we're going to stick with going forward."

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Wawa chooses the Ravens as new partners, much to the chagrin of Philly fans

Wawa chooses the Ravens as new partners, much to the chagrin of Philly fans

The world's best convenience store/gas station/sandwich shop has partnered with the Baltimore Ravens. 

Yes, Wawa is now the “official hoagie” of the Ravens. 

It's the partnership that Ravens' fans didn't even know they needed. If there is a lottery, the Ravens just won.

As Wawa celebrates its 50th year in Maryland, there will be several promotions that fans will be able to partake in. Opportunities to win tickets to games, co-branded merchandise, and unique experiences are just a handful of benefits Ravens fans can now take advantage of. You'll also see a lot more of Wawa at M&T Bank Stadium.

Choosing Wawa over Royal Farms (and that other store Sheetz) is clearly a top-tier partnership between two of the biggest brands in the Baltimore Metro area. And there is no doubt that there could not be a more perfect partnership between an NFL franchise and a convenience shop. 

"Wawa is thrilled to partner with the Ravens to make deeper connections with some of the best fans in football and reach communities all over the city of Baltimore and beyond,” Adam Schall, the senior director of store operations for Maryland said in a press release.

Our friends over in Philadelphia are not enthused:

But it is simple: the better store went with the better team. 


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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

With training camp just six days away, here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens.

1. Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens have placed Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson and two others on the reserve/NFI list. He later added that Brown is still recovering from Lisfranc surgery but is "progressing well" and Ferguson is dealing with a "minor hamstring" injury.

2. The entire Baltimore Ravens class is officially under contract after the signing of wide receiver Miles Boykin. Boykin was a third-round pick out of Notre Dame.

3. Michael Vick joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Friday morning and when asked which young quarterbacks in the NFL most emulate his style, he answered: "Lamar Jackson" along with Kyler Murray and Cam Newton.

Looking Ahead:

July 24: Ravens training camp begins. Rookies are set to report a week earlier on Wednesday, July 17. 

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: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.