Just because Ray Lewis is 37, the Dallas Cowboys still approach him with caution.
Lewis, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP, is credited with 43 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble for the Ravens this season.
He's playing at a lighter weight, hoping it gives him an edge in his 17th year.
"I see the same Ray Lewis. He understands the game almost like a quarterback does and where the strengths and weaknesses of not only the offense (are), but his own defense," Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said. "He just has a great knack for getting himself into position and where he needs to be to help everybody. He looks real good on tape.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett echoed Romo's observations.
“I see the same guy. I see a guy who is the emotional leader of that defense, and the emotional leader of that football team. They all look to him," Garrett said. "I see a guy who makes a ton of plays once the play starts. He makes a lot of tackles, is around the football a lot. He is the same guy that we have been seeing here for the last (17) or so years.”
The defense, which long has been a staple particularly against the run, has shown signs of slippage. Baltimore is ranked just 24th overall. But when opponents get inside the Ravens' 20-yard line, they only score touchdowns 38.9% of the time which is tied for seventh-best.
Lewis feels fresh, even though times have changed.
"I’ve educated myself years ago with some help from (former Ravens players) Shannon (Sharpe) and Rod (Woodson). So, I had some good advice early, and I took it," said Lewis, crediting his conditioning for his longevity. "Now, I wake up probably better than I ever woke up when I was younger. When I was waking up younger, I didn’t know how to figure it out or how put it back together. ... That’s why I think my body feels awesome at this age right now.”
Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.
On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.
The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.
"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website.
Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.
Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.
On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below.
In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change.
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Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.
Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.
That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32.
Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back.
However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.
If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward.
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