A disturbing trend is underway for the Ravens.
They're 4-1 and in control of the AFC North, but they haven't scored a touchdown in the first quarter for three games in a row after Sunday's unattractive 9-6 win at the Kansas City Chiefs.
On the first drive, quarterback Joe Flacco moved the Ravens 17 yards. On the next drive, the Ravens netted zero yards.
The Ravens only got a 28-yard field goal from Justin Tucker after linebacker Courtney Upshaw recovered a fumble by Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel on their half of the field.
In wins vs. the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns before that, the Ravens were unspectacular at the start, too.
The Patriots took a 13-0 lead in the opening period as the Ravens went three plays and out on their first possession, Flacco threw an interception on his first pass on the next possession and then they had another three-and-out.
Against the Browns, the Ravens moved the ball 23 yards on the first possession but punted. The next possession, Flacco drove his team 66 yards only to be intercepted in the end zone.
"We like to play with leads," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We're going to have to look at the tape real hard and see what the little things are that keep us from doing that."
Former Carolina Panthers' star receiver Steve Smith spoke in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the fifth annual Wake up for Wellness breakfast that was sponsored by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas.
The 16-year veteran and current NFL Network analyst touched on the importance of seeking help for bouts with depression and spoke of battles that he has faced with the disease.
“On the outside you’ll see a tough exterior. But on the inside, I’m just broken or I believe even more broken than the average man. ... Because when the stadium goes dark and the cheers stop, you’re still looking for that pat on the back,” Smith said. “Throughout my whole career, I struggled with that.”
Smith discussed that in the beginning, he was so concerned about the stigma regarding mental health, that he opted for the professional to meet him for housecalls, and as time passed he realized the importance of speaking up.
“I started to realize that I’m not broken,” he said. “I’m not being sent back to the manufacturer ... I get up every morning and figure it out.”
Smith's comments on the issue came to light just a day after the NFL and NFLPA announced new legislation that focuses on mental well being.
The newly formed Comprehensive Mental Health and Wellness Committee will develop programs for members of the NFL in addition to collaborating with local and national mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Each team will be mandated to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician for assistance that will be required to be available to players at the individual team facilities for at least 8-12 hours per week and must conduct mandatory mental health education sessions for players and coaching staff.
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Kick off your Thursday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including what to watch for at OTAs.
1. As the Ravens try and bolster their pass rush during the offseason, they hope to find much-needed help from outside linebacker, Shane Ray. The Ravens picked up Ray from the Denver Broncos where he had an unproductive last two seasons due to injury, only registering one sack in each of the past two seasons. However, Ray had a phenomenal career at Missouri as a unanimous All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. The Ravens have given Ray a shot at a career reboot and fans are excited to see what he's got.
2. Thursday is the media's first opportunity to get a look at the 2019-20 Ravens. Ravens writer Ryan Mink writes seven things to look out for at OTAs including, attendance from veterans even though OTAs are mandatory, a look at linebacker development with the signings of namely Pernell McPhee and Shane Ray and a first look at the rookie class to name a few.
July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.
The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.
Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.
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