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Instant analysis: Down go the Browns

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Instant analysis: Down go the Browns

Ravens 23, Browns 16
at M&T Bank Stadium

Given that Ray Rice rushed for 291 total yards in two meetings Cleveland last season, he was bound to have another big performance Thursday.

Wrong. Instead, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco aired it out again, passing 28-for-46 for 356 yards and one touchdown in a no-huddle offense that lacked consistency throughout.

Flacco, who has never lost in nine games vs. the Browns since being drafted in 2008, also had a one-yard touchdown run. Rice finished with 49 yards on 18 carries, an average of 2.7 per.

The much-maligned defense that gave up 486 and 396 in the last two games allowed the Browns (0-4) to get 357. Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for 320 yards, but he was just 25-for-52 and failed to throw for a touchdown.

The Ravens weren't efficient on offense as Rice couldn't find room to run and the line allowed four sacks of Flacco.

Player of the game: WR Anquan Boldin, who had only 10 catches for 118 yards in his first three games of the season, had nine catches for 131. Boldin also had three catches, 18, 21 and 21 yards, on the Ravens first drive of the second half that resulted in a touchdown to make it a two-possession game at 16-7.

The turning point: CB Cary Williams jumped in front of a third-down pass from Weeden to Travis Benjamin and went 63 yards for a touchdown that gave the Ravens an insurmountable 23-10 lead with 2:07 left in the third quarter.

Highlights: LB Paul Kruger, who has been limited by a back injury since the start of the season, got his first sack by dropping Weeden on a third-and-7 for a six-yard loss. Kruger also defensed a pass play on the Browns first drive that forced a punt. DT Haloti Ngata collapsed the pocket around Weeden and got so much leverage upfield that it gave Trent Richardson limited room to run. He was held to 47 yards on 14 carries. Before Weeden was sacked, he was hit early and often. In the first quarter alone, Ray Lewis delivered two blows and Kruger hit him once. All three of those hits came on third downs. Lardarius Webb broke up what appeared to be a sure 33-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Norwood in the end zone that couldve cut the deficit to two for Cleveland. Instead, Phil Dawson converted a 51-yard field goal.

Lowlights: Browns WR Joshua Cribbs had to leave the game because of a head injury when he was sandwiched by Dannell Ellerbe and Morgan Cox on a punt return, his helmet flew off and the back of his head smashed onto the FieldTurf. Cribbs didnt return because of a head injury. Flacco threw an interception in the end zone that was grasped by Craig Robertson. It was Flaccos first interception inside the 20-yard line in 125 throws. The last time that happened was Dec. 7, 2009 vs. the Green Bay Packers. After P Sam Koch buried the Browns on their own 6 with a 50-yard punt, Williams gave up a 43-yard catch to Greg Little to led to the Browns first points. Justin Tucker missed his first field goal wide right from 47 yards in the rain after a sack of Flacco and a series of penalties ruined what appeared to be a TD drive. ... A holding penalty on LT Michael Oher negated Rice's best run, a 21-yard gain in the fourth quarter. ... The Ravens had 11 penalties for 100 yards.

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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!

A post shared by Baltimore Ravens (@ravens) on

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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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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