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How Baltimore (literally) dropped the ball in latest loss


How Baltimore (literally) dropped the ball in latest loss

The Ravens dropped the ball in San Francisco.

Yes, they let a winnable game get away from them --- again -- which has become a recurring theme this season. But this time, they really did drop the ball: At least five catchable balls fell through their hands; had they caught any one of them, another demoralizing defeat probably turns into a win. Instead, the Ravens fell 25-20 to the 49ers on Sunday to fall to 1-5, the worst six-game mark in franchise history.

It happened on both sides of the ball, too, and even afflicted the Ravens most reliable playmakers.

On the 49ers second possession, Colin Kaepernick's pass over the middle glanced right off Jimmy Smith's hands. Instead of an interception, the 49ers retained possession and hit a field goal on the next play.

Then early in the second quarter, Steve Smith had a third-down pass bounce off his hands in the end zone. The ball was slightly behind him, but the 15-year veteran has hauled in plenty of tougher catches. Instead of a touchdown, the Ravens settled for a field goal.


Not long after that, linebacker Albert McClellan sniffed out a pass in the right flat and make a leaping two-handed deflection. The ball then bounced off his chest and fell to the ground before he could hold on. The 49ers kicked a field goal on the next play.

On the Ravens next possession, Flacco threw two passes in succession into the end zone, first to running back Buck Allen and then to Steve Smith. Both were well defended, but both times the Ravens receiver got his hands on the ball but could not haul in the score. The Ravens had to settle for a field goal.

"When we get down in there (in the red zone) we gotta score touchdowns," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "That makes a big difference in this kind of game. When things aren't going well for you as a football team you gotta make every play that's out there, and we just are not doing that."

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 


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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."