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Praise for Rice, not Ravens offense

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Praise for Rice, not Ravens offense

While its high fives all around Baltimore for the last-minute deal that locked up Ray Rice, expect to see more of the analysis like that of ESPN.coms Matt Williamson in the wake of the new contract.

Williamson argues that the Ravens needed to get a contract done with Rice because hes more important to them than any running back is to any other team in the league. This isnt just a matter of praising Rices talent; its also a matter of denigrating the Ravens offense.

You can see the conventional wisdom building in NFL commentary from various websites and blogs. Much of the characterization of the Ravens offense seems to stem from the harsh assessment it received from NFL Films maven Greg Cosell in January. Heres Williamsons version of it:

The Ravens are not very creative on offense. In fact, they are one of the easiest offenses to prepare for in the NFL. Baltimore uses very few three-or-more-wide-receiver sets, generally preferring run-based offensive personnel. They are predictable in that they are a run-first offense that mixes in screens to Rice, deep passes on the perimeter usually to Torrey Smith off play-action and out patterns to Anquan Boldin. They rely on execution, speed and physicality rather than deception. This makes them pretty easy to game plan for and to play against.

Thats the story about the Ravens, and everyone is sticking to it.

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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!

A post shared by Baltimore Ravens (@ravens) on

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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AP Images

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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