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Passing game ground to a halt

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Passing game ground to a halt

The Ravens had first-and-goal from the 10-yard line early in the second quarter. After Ray Rice ran for 4 yards on first down, Joe Flacco twice threw incompletions intended for Anquan Boldin in the end zone, and the Ravens had to settle for a field goal.

It was that kind of missed opportunity that defined the Ravens on Sunday in their 23-20 loss to the Steelers.

Flacco finished 16-for-34 for 188 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. His quarterback rating of 61.9 was his worst at home this season and his second-lowest at home in the past three years.

Flacco, who also lost a fumble after James Harrison rushed from the blind side and knocked the ball from his hand, said, “I think we missed a couple of opportunities early in the game to take a better hold of the game. I thought we could have put up 30 or 40 points today, and we didn’t do it. That’s probably the best reflection that we hurt ourselves a little bit.”

The Steelers brought the league’s No.1-ranked defense to Baltimore, but the feeling in the Ravens locker room afterward was that this was one that got away.

“It shouldn’t have been close. If we execute, it wouldn’t have been a close game,” said Ravens receiver Torrey Smith.

“Everything’s about execution,” Smith added. “They didn’t do anything special. We stopped ourselves. They made plays. We didn’t.”

The Ravens indeed had their chances. The Steelers lost starting cornerback Ike Taylor to an ankle injury early in the game, and the Ravens at times picked on his replacement, Cortez Allen. Anquan Boldin caught a 28-yard touchdown pass against Allen, but the Ravens also missed  other opportunities.

They came out firing, throwing on their first six offensive plays, including a deep pass that went in and out of the hands of Smith, who was covered by Taylor. Ray Rice and Tandon Doss both dropped passes while open, and Flacco underthrew Smith a couple of times, allowing Steelers defensive backs to break up the pass.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” said Smith, who was targeted eight times and finished with three catches for 33 yards. “Regardless of how tough it might be, it’s my job to make a play. More often times than not I make it. A couple of plays I left on the field I’m very upset about.”

Boldin, who finished with a team-high five catches for 81 yards, was also upset with the officiating, still hot afterward about a pass interference call against him that nullified a 17-yard gain. Boldin said he was being held.

“They were making bad calls all night,” Boldin said. “They may not want me to say it, but it’s just what it was. You can’t allow a guy to hold, and then when a receiver breaks free, call pass interference. I mean you can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to allow us to play football, let us play football.”

In the end, though Boldin, like others, lamented the missed chances.

“We felt like we left plays out there,” Boldin said. “We felt like we could have put them away early. (We) missed opportunites here and there.”

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Browns WR Jarvis Landry tells Tom Brady 'the leagues needs your voice right now'

Browns WR Jarvis Landry tells Tom Brady 'the leagues needs your voice right now'

Tom Brady is one of -- if not the most -- well-known and well-respected players in the National Football League. When it comes to star power, he is at the top of the list.

Now, Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry is asking Brady to use his strong voice to help NFL players achieve their goals as they enter the 2020 season. Landry recently took to Twitter to ask Brady to participate in discussions between the league and players.

It's unclear what exactly Landry is referring to when he says he and other players need Brady's voice. It could have to do with the fight for social justice in the country, and it could relate to the situation surrounding the upcoming NFL campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With training camp set to start at the end of July, there are still many unanswered questions about how the season will work. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that testing protocols and the length of the preseason are two issues that remain unsolved. The league has been working to put measures in place to limit player exposure including banning jersey swaps, which did not go over well with many players.

RELATED: NFL BANS JERSEY SWAPS

As for the preseason, the schedule has been cut down to two games, but the NFLPA has voted to have the entire preseason eliminated. There was also a report that the league proposed a 35% pay cut for players to counteract the revenue losses the pandemic will create. 

Players have been vocal about having their demands met, and Landry is now asking an influential player like Brady to help get things to where they need to be.

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Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey set to host garage sale Sunday, July 12

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey set to host garage sale Sunday, July 12

Offseason. What offseason? There is no offseason for Baltimore Ravens standout cornerback Marlon Humphrey who announced he's throwing a garage sale Sunday, July 12 in Owings Mills.

"Garage sale this Sunday! (Owings Mills, MD) New year means a lot needs to be left behind," Humphrey said. "Will have furniture, shoes, lights, and of course some Ravens gear 😎Everything must go..!"

Humphrey's post received north of 1,500 likes in two hours so it may be fair to say there will be a decent turnout. 

NFL players having garage sales is sort of a peculiar situation, it doesn't happen quite often. Former Green Bay Packers running back Eddy Lacy had one in 2017 which drew a large enough crown to wrap around the entire block.

In that instance, ten shoppers were allowed in at a time to peruse the items and Lacy said that all of the money will go to charity, with any leftover unsold items being given to the Freedom House homeless shelter in Green Bay, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

Humprey is entering his fourth season with the Ravens.

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