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Defense can't hold off late Pittsburgh rally

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Defense can't hold off late Pittsburgh rally

The Ravens made a lot of good plays on defense Sunday, coming up with three Pittsburgh turnovers in this AFC North battle. In the end, though, the Ravens couldn’t do enough to stop the Steelers.

After leading much of the game, the Ravens watched the Steelers score the game’s final 10 points, including Shaun Suisham’s 42-yard field goal as time expired that gave Pittsburgh a come-from-behind 23-20 victory. That ended Baltimore's home winning streak at 15 games. Pittsburgh was the last team to beat the Ravens at home, and that was two years ago.

 The Ravens shut down third-string quarterback Charlie Batch throughout the first half. He missed on a bunch of passes, including his overthrow of a wide open receiver in the end zone in the final minute. But the veteran slowly came to life in the second half, and the Pittsburgh air attack also awoke as the Steelers scored 17 points in the final two quarters.

“[He] played very well,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He did a good job. Charlie’s always been a good quarterback. We had a lot of respect for him going into the game.”

Batch completed 25 of 36 for 276 yards and one touchdown. The Steelers were able to move the ball throughout the second half and put pressure on the Ravens, something they couldn't do in the first half. 

“They made enough plays to win the game, so you have to tip your hat to them,” Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin said.

But Batch and the Steelers needed to overcome the three turnovers the Ravens forced that derailed the Steelers a few times.

Corey Graham picked off a pass from wide receiver Antonio Brown in the first half. Brown throws left-handed and tried to throw back across the field to the right side after Batch handed him the ball on a reverse-- and the ball hung long enough for Graham to catch it.

Joe Flacco threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin four plays later for a 13-3. The Steelers’ offense got in gear after that but still needed to overcome two turnovers. Emmanuel Sanders caught a Batch pass over the middle but fumbled with no one near him. The ball rolled away, and Ed Reed recovered it.

In the fourth quarter, Reed stepped up again. He made a leaping interception of a Batch pass in the end zone that was intended for Heath Miller that preserved the Ravens’ 20-13 lead with 10:59 left in the game.

The Steelers then took advantage of a Joe Flacco fumble to get the ball in good field position and get a short drive for the tying touchdown. Batch then guided Pittsburgh on a long 12-play drive that ate up the final 6 minutes, 14 seconds.

“I’m not sure how they were hurting us,” linebacker Paul Kruger said. “It just seemed we were out of rhythm. They were making the plays they needed to make, and they were hitting us right where they could. We just have to go back and made those corrections and finish strong.”

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Mark Ingram sees COVID-19 issues in MLB, preaches 'positive midset' for Ravens locker room

Mark Ingram sees COVID-19 issues in MLB, preaches 'positive midset' for Ravens locker room

Like most of us, Mark Ingram has taken notice of Major League Baseball's coronavirus problem. And much like the rest of his NFL peers, has to face the reality that the NFL's return-to-play plan is eerily similar to MLB's. 

So how can the NFL avoid outbreaks that may threaten the 2020 season? If you ask Ingram, it starts with positivity and simply following team protocols. 

"Yeah you see the [MLB] stuff, there’s cases, you try to stay positive," Ingram said. You try to stay with the protocols our team has set for us, and when you leave the facility, be safe as possible. Stay at home and take precautions that you’re not exposing yourself unnecessarily."

The Miami Marlins had 20 reported cases in their locker room following their first series of the 2020 season in Philadelphia. They're scheduled to play their first game on Tuesday against the Orioles, nine days after their last contest. In response, Commissioner Rob Manfred warned to shut down the season if teams didn't manage the coronavirus better moving forward. 

RELATED: INGRAM AND DOBBINS PREPARE FOR BACKFIELD COMPETITION

The NFL has an advantage in that games are only played once a week, but the challenges of preventing an outbreak will seemingly be greater given the nature of the game and its player-to-player physicality as well as the roster size for each team.

"You just try to have a positive mindset, and honestly we're aware of [MLB], we're cautious of it," Ingram said. "We're trying to do the best we can with the circumstances and stay hopeful."

NFL teams are already dealing with positive cases one week after the start of training camp. The Bills had to send their rookies home Thursday after five positive tests, while Eagles coach Doug Pederson tested positive Sunday. 

Based on what we've learned with MLB, players following health and safety protocols off the field will be critical for the NFL to successfully execute their 2020 campaign. They aren't in a bubble like the NBA and NHL, so the margin for error is smaller. Hopefully more players share Ingram's mindset on the situation. 

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Report: Ravens to sign former Texans and Saints tight end Jerell Adams

Report: Ravens to sign former Texans and Saints tight end Jerell Adams

The Ravens look like they have acquired the veteran tight end they've been looking for. 

Jerell Adams only registered snaps in one game for the New Orleans Saints last season, but Baltimore has been in the market for a veteran tight end presence to shore up the depth chart, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. 

The South Carolina product could provide blocking relief for the Purple and Black, as the Ravens traded Hayden Hurst to the Falcons for a couple of drafts picks back in March. 

The report comes just hours after ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Baltimore was looking to add another tight end, with former Washington TE Jordan Reed and Delanie Walker rumored to be options. 

Adams was selected with the 184th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft by the New York Giants before making a stop in Houston during his three-year career. 

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