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Pees: Defensive rank is 'painful'

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Pees: Defensive rank is 'painful'

Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees told the team's official video show earlier this week that the Ravens reeling defense is "painful," and that could mean literally and figuratively.

The Ravens are the walking wounded, and their psyche has taken a pounding, too, as the Ravens have made a precipitous drop toward the bottom of most NFL defensive rankings.

Pees has tried to stay positive about it all, and really, what else can he do? Even before his defense had taken a snap in training camp, it had lost the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year to an Achilles injury. Now he's lost the emotional leader of the team in Ray Lewis (triceps), and its top cornerback, Lardarius Webb (knee), likely for the season.

His best down lineman, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, has been bothered by a knee injury. His Pro Bowl safety, Ed Reed has been bothered by a shoulder injury (which cost him no time, but did cost the Ravens 20 grand for not reporting it.)

And all of this comes after the Ravens suffered free agent departures of two defensive starters, Jarret Johnson and Cory Redding, who last season had helped the Ravens defense rank No. 3 overall and No. 2 against the run.

The dropoff has been alarming. The Ravens this year have yielded back-to-back 200-yard rushing games for the first time in their history, and as they lick their wounds during the bye week, they rank 26th overall and 27th against the run.

"It's a very proudful group," Pees said.  "To be where we are right now is painful to all of us, and that means all of us, coaches, players, everybody, We're not anywhere where we want to be. But at the same time, we just got to keep improving.

"We haven't changed a whole lot of things from years past. It's not like it's a bunch of new things. .. . You gotta keep yourself up, and that's a job for us as coaches, for all of us to do."

Certainly the return of Suggs should give a lift. He's got plenty of Ravens swagger in him, but it will take more than just his return to bring the Ravens defense back form. With all the injuries, can it return to form?

Pees thinks so.

"As sometimes upset as we are about ... the stats and things are on defense, we just gotta play the next game and try to improve and get it back," said Pees, in his 33rd season in coaching and ninth in the NFL. "And once it gets back, and gets going the momentum going the other way, it'll go. But we gotta get that back."

 

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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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