Ravens

Quick Links

How did our Ravens-Chiefs predictions hold up?

910691.png

How did our Ravens-Chiefs predictions hold up?

Time for ourweekly visit under the replay hood to see how we fared with our 10 predictionsfor the Ravens-Chiefs game. It wasn't pretty, but then again, neither was thegame.
1. Ray Rice willhave 20 touches. INCORRECT. Ricecame up just short, carrying 17 times for 102 yards and catching one pass for16 yards. Given that he averaged 6.0 yards a carry, and the offense was out ofsync at times, it remains curious why he didn't get the ball more often.2. Jamaal Charleswill break a run of at least 25 yards.CORRECT. Charlesdidn't have the 91-yard game-breaker as he did in New Orleans, or the 37-yard,reverse-the-field highlight-film run he did against San Diego. But he was inthe Ravens secondary the entire first half, and ripped off a 25-yard run, hislongest, midway through the first quarter. 3. Ray Rice willhave more carries than Jamaal Charles.INCORRECT. TheChiefs leaned on Charles like a crutch, hesitant to hand the keys of theoffense to struggling quarterback Matt Cassel. Charles finished with 30carries, including 20 in the first half, while Rice had 17 carries.4. Ravens tightends at least 6 catches ...INCORRECT. JoeFlacco did become reacquainted with his tight ends after they had zero catchesagainst Cleveland, but Dennis Pitta (3 catches, 22 yards) and Ed Dickson (1-11) had a total ofjust four of the Ravens' 13 receptions.5. ...and 1touchdown.INCORRECT. Pittaand Dickson have frequently been red zone targets of Flacco, and we expectedthat to continue, especially since opposing tight ends had scored against theChiefs in three of the first four games. But it didn't. Red zone production wasa problem all day, as the Ravens failed to find the end zone on three red zonepossessions. But neither Pitta nor Dickson were targeted near the goal line onany of those possession. 6. Haloti Ngatawill have at least five tackles.INCORRECT. One ofthe more shocking aspects of this game was how the Chiefs and Jamaal Charlesran right over the Ravens in the first half. He had 125 yards by halftime andwas often well past Ngata by the time he was brought down. Ngata finished withfour tackles and was involved on the play that knocked Cassel out of the game.7. The Ravenswill run on more than half their first down plays. CORRECT. Notcounting plays whistled by penalties, or Joe Flacco's kneel-down at the end ofthe game, the Ravens ran on first down 12 times and threw on first down 11times. If the plan was to shorten second-down yardage, it worked; after have 13plays of second and 10 or more against Cleveland, they had seven such playsagainst the Chiefs.8. The Ravenswill win the turnover battle.CORRECT. TheRavens were hardly error-free, with Flacco throwing an interception and rookiekick returner Deonte Thompson coughing up the second half kickoff. Fortunatelyfor the Ravens, though, they were playing the team that is on pace to set NFLrecords for turnovers. The charitable Chiefs gave up the ball four times, nonebigger than the fumble by Cassel at the Ravens' 1-yard line that was recoveredin the end zone by Ed Reed.9. The finalscore will be over the 'over' of 47.INCORRECT. Wowdid we miss this one badly. We anticipated the teams would move up and down thefield, and at times they did. But the Chiefs kept turning the ball over, andthe Ravens stalled in the red zone. Result: the first Ravens game without a touchdown since 2003.
10. Ravens 31,Chiefs 27KIND OF CORRECT.We might have been way off on the score, but we predicted that this would be aclose game and that the Ravens would "have enough to get the roadwin."

Quick Links

A Norwegian soccer player turned kicker, Kaare Vedvik fighting for chance on Ravens roster

vedvik-ap.png
AP Images

A Norwegian soccer player turned kicker, Kaare Vedvik fighting for chance on Ravens roster

Twenty-four-year-old Kaare Vedvik didn't watch his first football game until seven years ago, and now he's fighting for a spot on the Ravens' special teams roster.

Raised in Norway, Vedvik got his first glance at the game when the Super Bowl was being broadcast on Norwegian television for the first time. 

"It seemed like a really, really interesting sport," Vedvik said via The Baltimore Sun. "It was a sport I was never able to try growing up. I loved any sport that was fun, and football seemed really, really fun."

Fun enough to get the competitive soccer player to be an exchange student in the United States during his junior year of high school to test out the game of football. Vedvik returned to Norway for his senior year but impressed college recruiters enough at a Kohl's Kicking Camp in Texas that he was eventually recruited to play at Marshall University in West Virginia.

Staying in Norway would have meant giving up on sports entirely as school becomes more difficult and sports are no longer offered. Vedvik wasn't ready for that.

While at Marshall, Vedvik played in 38 games in four years as both a punter and kicker. He punted 59 times for 2,597 yards — averaging 44 yards — with 26 of them inside the 20-yard line. Vedvik once punted a 92-yarder, making it the seventh-longest punt in FBS history and the longest in 45 years. He ranked in the Top 10 for fewest punt return yards and averaged 63.6 yards-per-kickoff. 

After a private workout with Ravens special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry Rosburg, Vedvik became one of 14 Ravens undrafted free agents and has impressed thus far hitting 70 and 67-yard field goals in training camp practices. And in Thursday's preseason game vs. the Rams, Vedvik hit a 56-yard field goal.

"Learning how to kick field goals, the biggest thing for me was to stop swiping across and trying to kick a straighter ball," Vedcik said. "That’s the biggest difference: In soccer, you’re trying to curve balls around a defender."

While Vedvik's chances of dethroning the most accurate kicker in NFL history in Justin Tucker and 12-year veteran punter Sam Koch are slim, he could very well make an impact elsewhere. 

“The guys who are able to do that, they’re just good athletes in general, and Kaare is a good athlete,” Tucker said of the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Norwegian. “He hasn’t played a lot of football. He has plenty of ability.”

“When he came in, he’s got such a strong leg," Koch added. "You’ve got to have a strong leg in order to get looked at. He’s got a lot of talent. It’s one of those things — bringing him in, honing his skills and seeing what he can do from here.”

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

Quick Links

What we learned from the Baltimore Ravens' 33-7 win vs. the Los Angeles Rams

usatsi_9044652.jpg
AP Images

What we learned from the Baltimore Ravens' 33-7 win vs. the Los Angeles Rams

The Ravens returned to M&T Bank Stadium for their second game on the 2018 NFL preseason schedule and gave us a lot of reasons to be excited.

Joe Flacco and his new core of receivers only needed one drive to show off, Lamar Jackson put his speed on display and Robert Griffin III gave Breshad Perriman a much-needed confidence boost.

Here's what we learned from their 33-7 win over the Los Angeles Rams. 

1. First teamers make it count

It took Joe Flacco and the first-team offense all of 4 minutes and 46 seconds to get themselves on the board. During the 10-play, 70-yard drive, Flacco connected with rookie tight end Hayden Hurst, Javorius Allen, John Brown, Michael Crabtree, and finally, Patrick Ricard for a six-yard touchdown. During the impressive drive, Flacco showed his own mobility by getting out of the pocket for a three-yard gain and a classic Flacco slide. 

Flacco connecting with three of his newest receivers is what we've been waiting to see all offseason. Even though it was just one preseason drive, it's a step in the right direction after the Ravens' 2017 offense ranked 29th in the league in passing. 

"Listen, our guys are really showing up," Flacco said at halftime. "We've had a great camp, and it was good to come out here and see it carry over into a game."

"I think once the regular season starts, this isn't going to mean anything," said Flacco postgame. "But what it does for our confidence as a group, our confidence as a team, that will carry us pretty far into the season."

2. A lot of room to grow for Lamar Jackson

Jackson followed up the Ravens' successful first drive with one of his own. The rookie hit Chris Moore for a 36-yard gain before putting his footwork on display faking out several Rams defenders en route to a 9-yard touchdown run. 

While he made improvements from his Hall of Fame Game appearance, Jackson showed he still has a lot to learn, finishing the night 7-18 for 119 yards. With two preseason games under his belt, Jackson received high praise from his head coach John Harbaugh and Flacco on which he carries himself. 

"He does seem poised for a rookie," coach John Harbaugh said. "Even on the sideline, he may not know everything ... but he comes off the field and knows exactly what he did. I think he's really going to continue to blossom for that reason. He handles situations very well."

Flacco followed up on Harbaugh's comments by calling his touchdown run "pretty impressive" and said it's been good getting to talk to him on the sideline and that "he's a confident young kid... [that's been] handling himself really well."


3. A much-needed confidence boost for Perriman

The Ravens showed their former first-round pick they still have faith in him after picking up his $649K roster bonus included in the final year of his rookie contract earlier this offseason.

During last week's Hall of Fame Game, Perriman dropped a pass from RGIII that turned into an interception. However, the duo redeemed themselves against the Rams when Griffin III threw a 32-yard bomb to the back left corner of the end zone to Perriman. 

A smiling Perriman could be found in the Ravens' locker room after the win saying the play was "definitely a confidence boost" and is just thankful to finally be healthy during the preseason for pretty much the first time in his career. 

He will have to continue to fight for his spot on the 53-man roster with the additions of Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and John Brown. 

4. Williams continues to be a threat

The 2017 third-round pick followed up his strong performance at the Hall of Fame Game – where he had a total of 41 pass-rushing snaps resulting in six hurries, one QB hit and a pass rush productivity of 17.1 according to Pro Football Focus – with another stellar performance.

During Thursday's matchup, the edge rusher out of Alabama had multiple hurries and a strip sack in the third for the first sack of the preseason.

Williams was following in the footsteps of the Ravens' first-team defense who finished their opening drive with a sack from Matthew Judon on third down to force the punt and an interception in the second from Maurice Canady. 

Ravens vs. Rams Notes

— The competition at right tackle between James Hurst and Orlando Brown Jr. is heating up. Brown Jr. played into the third quarter Thursday after getting in 60 snaps during the Hall of Fame Game. Quarterback Joe Flacco praised the third-round pick saying, "You can't ignore the fact that he's got the ability. He's just so big. He swallows people up. He has the natural ability to play that position and be a really good football player, so it's just exciting to see." 

— The Ravens got two W's last night when John Harbaugh quoted THE Michael Scott when asked about avoiding the injury bug during the preseason. Harbaugh said, "I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious." Classic. 

— While the preseason record does not matter whatsoever, the Ravens haven't lost a preseason game since Sept. 3, 2015. They now have ten days until they head to Indianapolis to face the Colts. 

MORE RAVENS NEWS: