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As kickers struggle, Tucker looks better and better

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As kickers struggle, Tucker looks better and better

As NFL kickers shanked and clanked balls off uprights on Sunday, the value of Justin Tucker just continued to grow.

It was a forgettable weekend to be an NFL kicker, starting with Josh Scobee’s misses at Heinz Field on Thursday night. And that was just the beginning:

* Tampa Bay kicker Kyle Brindza missed two field-goal attempts – including a 29-yarder – and an extra-point kick;

* The Eagles’ Caleb Sturgis, who was signed just last week, missed a field-goal try of 33 yards and an extra-point try in a game the Eagles lost by three;

* At Indianapolis, the Jaguars’ Jason Myers missed a 53-yarder in the closing seconds that would have won the game. Then in overtime, the Jaguars played conservatively on a third-and-11, running the ball to set up a 48-yarder by Myers, which he promptly missed. The Colts won on their next possession.

MORE RAVENS: Bengals fast start puts Ravens in deep AFC North hole

* And in New Orleans, Saints kicker Zach Hocker clanked a 30-yarder off the upright at the end of regulation, although the Saints ultimately won in overtime.

Around the league, there were 14 missed field-goal attempts in Week 4 through Sunday, as well as four missed extra-point kicks – including one by Chicago’s Robbie Gould that was blocked.

“The state of kicking in the NFL is not good,” said Eagles coach Chip Kelly, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

At least in Baltimore it is.

Tucker’s 52-yard game-winner Thursday was the longest ever made by an opponent at Heinz Field. It was the eighth game-winner of Tucker’s career, and it came after he had hit a 42-yarder to force overtime.

Overall this year, Tucker is 10-for-11 on field-goal tries, with his only miss coming from 50 yards. He has made 36 straight kicks from inside 50 yards dating to 2013, and his career percentage of .899 (107-for-119) ranks second-best in NFL history.

The NFL wanted to inject more drama into the kicking game this year, and the league has gotten its wish.

In Baltimore, though, Tucker has kept things consistent and dependable and, well, that’s just fine with the Ravens.

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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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