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ESPN's Paolantonio: Refs have lost control

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ESPN's Paolantonio: Refs have lost control

There's anage-old adage, taught from the time kids first begin lacing up cleats, that youdon't blame refs for a loss. There are always plays that could have been made,should have been made, weren't made, that dictate the outcome of a game as muchas any official does. Ravens coach JohnHarbaugh as well as Ray Lewis and Joe Flacco didn't go so far as to blame theofficials for the loss, but they were vocal in their displeasure of the crewthat officiated the Ravens' 24-23 loss in Philadelphia. Coming after aone-point loss, much of that is being viewed as sour grapes.The BaltimoreSun's Mike Preston writes, "Here is some advice for the Ravens:Instead of pointing fingers at the officials, point some at yourselves. TheRavens need to make more plays and fewer comments. In other words, pipedown." ESPN's SalPaolantonio, though, has a different take. "I've hearda lot of criticism of John Harbaugh and Ray Lewis and Joe Flacco for chirpingabout the refs after the game, but I would beg to differ," he said in aninterview with WNST. "I think they were well within their rights to goeven further."To Paolantonio,the issue isn't so much whether the replacement officials blew a call here orthere -- and he says the offensive pass interference call on an apparenttouchdown pass to Jacoby Jones was "egregiously bad" -- but that theyare losing control of the game.Paolantonio saidHarbaugh was exactly right when he described the game as "chaotic." "This is theNational Football League. You don't want chaos," Paolantonio said."You want the game under control."Paolantoniolikened the replacement referees to substitute teachers; students are morelikely to push the envelope with a sub than they are with a regular teacher. "You sit inthe back of the room, you talk, you horse around, you might get away withsomething," Paolantonio said. "That's exactly what's going on.""When DeSeanJackson swung at Cary Williams," he added, "I thought for sure the referee, (Robert)Frazier, was going to throw DeSean Jackson out of the game. He should havethrown DeSean Jackson out of the game."Paolantonio saidthe chippy play, which occurred at games around the league, is likely toescalate if the officials don't put a stop to it. "They shouldstart throwing guys out," he said, "to get a hold of the situation.They got to start making examples of players.""It got outof hand (Sunday). A perfectly good football game. A very competitive game wasmarred by some bad officiating."

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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AP Images

Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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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