Here’s what some out-of-town media voices are saying about the Ravens after their dreadful 1-4 start. Remember when the Ravens were a trendy Super Bowl pick in August? Those days are over.
NBC’s Rodney Harrison, on Football Night in America:
“Without Terrell Suggs, they’re forced to blitz a lot and they can’t stop anybody. They leave their defensive backs in a lot of one-on-one situations, but are undisciplined in the back end. Also the missed tackles. It’s not just Terrell Suggs’ abscence.”
Former Redskins linebacker, and current NFL Network GameDay Live analyst LaVar Arrington:
“This is that moment when players are in the locker room, coaches are in their meeting rooms and they are taking a good look at themselves and it’s either a sign that we have to fight and try and climb back into this thing no matter what the end result might be at the end of the year. Or you see a tail off in the commitment as to how you play the game.”
NFL Network GameDay Live analyst Dave Dameshek:
“They are so obsessed with beating Pittsburgh that it gets in the way of their following games…They struggle, and so they did here and now their season is over.”
I disagree with those last comments by Damashek. Actually, the Ravens won both games in 2014 the week after they faced the Steelers. And I still don’t think the Ravens are dead for a wild card spot. Not when there are 10 teams in the AFC with two wins or less.
However, it will probably take at least nine wins for the Ravens to grab a wild card spot, and they won’t come close to that unless their defense improves. As for the national media riding the Ravens’ bandwagon? Clearly, that train has seen derailed, and for good reason.
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Football is back in session for the Ravens.
Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.
The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.
This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief.
Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011.
Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason.
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There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.
OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.
The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.
The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively.
During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.
Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.
They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.
Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.
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