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Jones runs with opportunity provided by Ravens

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Jones runs with opportunity provided by Ravens

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Jacoby Jones has enjoyed many happy returns since signing with the Baltimore Ravens, a trend he hopes to continue this weekend when he goes back to Houston to face the Texans.

Jones was named AFC special teams player of the week Wednesday after he tied an NFL record by taking a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown Sunday in Baltimore's 31-29 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Still, he intends to treat his trip back to Houston like just any other game, even though the Texans cut him in May - five months after he fumbled twice in a 20-13 playoff loss to Baltimore.

``It's another team we have to face,'' Jones said Wednesday, very matter-of-factly. ``I think I had five good years there. They gave me an opportunity to play in the NFL, and I appreciate them for that. I moved on to another team. Breath of fresh air.''

After his release, Jones needed about two seconds to mull over the Ravens' offer to join them.

``He wanted to be here, so it wasn't anything that was difficult to get done,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ``I think it was one phone call.''

And a short one at that.

``As soon as saw Maryland pop up on my phone, I was thinking about a Super Bowl ring,'' Jones said. ``I was ready to roll.''

The 28-year-old Jones has been an integral part of the Ravens return game. He's taken back eight punts for 72 yards and returned three kickoffs for 159 yards, including that spectacular 108-yarder that matched the mark set by Ellis Hobbs of New England against the New York Jets in 2007 and equaled in 2011 by Randall Cobb of Green Bay against New Orleans.

After he reached the end zone, Jones channeled his inner Deion Sanders with a celebration jig similar to that of the former NFL standout.

``I'm closer to Dancing With The Stars, player,'' he said.

Asked if he's prepared a celebration for his next score, Jones replied, ``I said I was going to be humble and not dance, but I've got something in my sock. I'll pull something out.''

There's no telling how Jones will next get into the end zone. In addition to returning punts and kickoffs, he has 11 receptions for 185 yards and a touchdown.

``Jacoby has been great,'' Harbaugh said. ``He's been a great teammate, he's been a great worker. He's just fun to be around. The guy is a pro in every sense of the word. Obviously he's been a huge addition for us.''

The Texans thought it best to part ways with Jones, but that doesn't mean he's not been missed.

``Boy, is he playing well,'' Houston coach Gary Kubiak said. ``We know what Jacoby is capable of. He did it for us here. He always made some big plays, and he's making them not only on special teams, but catching a lot of balls, also.''

With Houston, Jones scored 11 touchdowns and had 127 catches for 1,741 yards. But two fumbles in a playoff game prompted his exit, and for Jones, there's no looking back.

``It's a business,'' he said. ``They did what they had to do, and now I have to do what I have to do.''

Ravens fullback Vonta Leach and safety Bernard Pollard also played for the Texans, making this a rather interesting homecoming.

``It ain't gonna be weird. We're gonna be fired up,'' Houston safety Glover Quin said. ``We can't let those guys come back to our home and get a win. They're probably going to be fired up. Hey, we are, too.''

Houston left tackle Duane Brown said, ``Jacoby's over there now, and he's been playing well. I'm happy for him. Just don't want him to do well this week.''

There's no way to determine whether the crowd in Houston will cheer Jones for what he did over a five-year run, or jeer him for his performance in that one lamentable game.

``I don't even care,'' he said. ``I'm Raven Nation. They love me and I love them. That's all that matters right now.''

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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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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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