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Emphasis is on better start in 2nd preseason game

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Emphasis is on better start in 2nd preseason game

Going into the second preseason game Friday night vs. the Detroit Lions, the Ravens likely will be keyed up to make a big impression.

The same goes for the Lions as neither team's first unit appeared in sync in their openers last week.

In a come-from-behind 31-17 win at the Atlanta Falcons, the Ravens fell behind 17-7 at the half. The Lions' first-team offense failed to register a point in a 19-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Both teams are determined to get off to a better start. After two fights broke out at the Ravens' training camp earlier this week, all signs point to a team that's eager to hit someone in another jersey:

Key matchup: The Lions already have established they can throw the with a 5,000-yard passing quarterback Matthew Stafford, but their backfield is in disarray. They won't have Jahvid Best, who might be forced to retire because of concussions. Their No. 1 back hasn't played since October and will miss at least the first six games of the regular season. The Ravens' vaunted defense instead will face the likes of the unproven Kevin Smith, Keiland Williams, Joique Bell and Stefan Logan.

Musical chairs: Where will Bryant McKinnie end up? The starting left tackle last season has been listed No. 1 at the position on the depth chart all week but practiced with the second team Wednesday. Harbaugh hinted that he's still experimenting with different lineups. Michael Oher, usually the right tackle, practiced with the first team there while rookie Kelechi Osemele occupied Oher's former spot.

In this corner: Jimmy Smith, who injured is back earlier in the month and has yet to play in the preseason, is expected to see his first action at cornerback. Just how good and deep is this secondary that already has Ed Reed, Lardarius Webb, Asa Jackson, Cary Williams and Christian Thompson? Lions receiver Calvin Johnson led the NFL with more than 1,600 yards last season. He'll certainly test it.

Who's No. 3?: Without Ed Dickson (right shoulder sprain) or Dennis Pitta (broken right hand), rookies Matt Balasavage and Bruce Figgins, Davon Drew and Billy Bajema have a chance to solidify a roster spot. Bajema, 30, is by far the most experienced.

Prediction: Ravens 28, Lions 10

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: 20 prospects linked to Baltimore at No. 22

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: 20 prospects linked to Baltimore at No. 22

We've made in to NFL draft week. Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The 2019 NFL Draft is Thursday night in Nashville, Tn. While the chances of pundits predicting each team's first-round pick accurately is about the same as picking the Powerball numbers, we can't seem to stop ourselves from looking at them. Here's a look at 20 prospects mocked to the Ravens at No. 22, courtesy of the Ravens' website.  


2. One of the many exciting parts of the NFL draft is waiting to hear which organizations trade forward or backwards to acquire a pick. Just last year, the Ravens traded back from their No. 16 pick several times to select Hayden Hurst at No. 25, before trading back into the first-round to pick Lamar Jackson at No. 32. But which trade in Ravens history was the most impactful? ESPN's Jamison Hensley selected the Ravens' trade for running back Jamal Lewis.


"In 1999, the Ravens traded their second-round pick (No. 43) for Atlanta's first-round pick in 2000, which they used to land running back Jamal Lewis," Hensley wrote. "The Falcons selected tight end Reggie Kelly, and the Ravens got what turned into the No. 5 overall pick in the 2000 draft. Baltimore drafted Lewis, who carried the offense during the team's 2000 Super Bowl championship season and recorded the NFL's fifth 2,000-yard season in 2003."


3. As Marlon Humphrey enters his third year in the league, the cornerback will not only be expected to take on a leadership role within the Ravens' new look defense, but top his impressive sophomore season. In 2018, Humphrey contested 35% of targets thrown into his coverage marking the second-best rate in all the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. 


Looking Ahead:

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp

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

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.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Steve Bisciotti donates $100,000 to rebuilding historically black churches

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Steve Bisciotti donates $100,000 to rebuilding historically black churches

One more week of the NFL offseason in the books. Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player/Team Notes:

1. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti donated $100,000 to help rebuilding efforts for three historically black churches in the Louisiana area that recently burned down by an alleged arsonists. An effort led by former tight end Benjamin Watson, Bisciotti reached out to him Sunday committing his donation. 

2. The GOAT gene has transferred from Justin Tucker to his son, Easton. The kicker posted a video on his Instagram Thursday of the little guy kicking a (mini) field goal right down the middle, just like his dad. 

Looking Ahead:

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp

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.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: