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Ravens-Bengals Instant Analysis

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Ravens-Bengals Instant Analysis

Ravens 44, Bengals 13

Joe Flacco has the offense on a fast track with the hurry-up offense, and Cincinnati simply got run out of M&T Bank Stadium on Monday night.

The Ravens were too creative and explosive as they made it three consecutive wins vs. their AFC North foe, dating to last season, in the opener for both.

Flacco opened with a 52-yard completion to start the game to Torrey Smith. It resulted in just a field goal by Justin Tucker, but the Ravens would grow that to a 17-3 lead in the second quarter and never look back.

The Ravens took 5:45 to score their first touchdown on a seven-yard run by Ray Rice, then drove 82 yards in 2:27 for a 34-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin in the second quarter and 89 yards in 3:41 for a 10-yard touchdown pass by tight end Dennis Pitta to open the third quarter.

True to his word, coach John Harbaugh mixed it up. They faked a reverse, threw deep, got Rice out of the backfield as a receiver. Flacco completed passes to seven different receivers.

As the Bengals tried to mount a comeback in the second half, the Ravens defense asserted itself as they pressured Andy Dalton. He was forced into an interception that was returned 34 yards for a touchdown by Ed Reed. A sack and forced fumble by Ray Lewis was recovered by Lardarius Webb, who also began blitzing from the edge.

Two plays and 28 yards later, Rice ran it into the end zone from a yard for a 41-13 edge.

Dalton was held to 22-for-37 passing for 221 yards, no TDs, one interception and a 65.3 passer rating.

Player of the game: Flacco picked apart the Bengals secondary, passing 21-for-29 for 299 yards, two TDs, no INTs and a 128.4 rating

Turning point: After stalling on the first drive and settling for a field goal, Harbaugh opted to go for it on 4th and 1 from Cincinnatis 21. They got it, and the drive ended with Rices first touchdown, his 30th of his career that moved him into fourth all-time in Ravens history past Derrick Mason, for a 10-0 lead.

Highlights: Smith showed why hes such a threat. On the first play from scrimmage, he caught a 52-yard pass that mightve been a touchdown if he didnt have to wait for it. Pitta had five receptions for 73 yards by the end of the third, which was a career high for yardage. Reed returned an interception, his 58th overall, of Dalton 34 yards for a TD in the third, making him the all-time leader in return yards (1,497) by surpassing Rod Woodson (1,483). Haloti Ngata had two sacks, his third career game with two sacks. Rookie Courtney Upshaw got his first sack in dropping Dalton for a 12-yard loss. He combined with Pernell McPhee as both were credited with half of a sack.

Lowlights: Flacco was sacked three times. BenJarvus Green-Ellis averaged 5.2 yards per carry in the first half and finished with 91 yards on 18 carries. Flacco had several poor throws that easily couldve resulted in three interceptions that couldve turned the outcome of the game early on. Fortunately for him, the Bengals couldnt hold the ball. Rice only had 10 carries.

Surprises: Ramon Harewood started at left guard in place of Bobbie Williams, the veteran who is a former Bengal and expected to start there. As reported over the weekend by CSNBaltimore, rookie Kelechi Osemele started at right tackle while Michael Oher was moved to the right side ahead of veteran Bryant McKinnie.

Replacements: Officials blew two calls in the first quarter. McPhee was drawn in the neutral zone after the offensive line moved, replays showed. That made a 3rd and 7 and more manageable third down and 2 for the Bengals, who went on to convert a field goal. On that same drive, Bengals WR A.J. Green caught a 19-yard pass, controlled it throughout, took several steps as he was tackled to the ground and then the ball came loose. It was ruled incomplete and the Bengals didnt challenge the call. Webb was called for a personal foul for a clean hit on Dalton, hitting him with his shoulder in the lower back as he released the ball.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

With training camp just six days away, here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens.

1. Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens have placed Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson and two others on the reserve/NFI list. He later added that Brown is still recovering from Lisfranc surgery but is "progressing well" and Ferguson is dealing with a "minor hamstring" injury.

2. The entire Baltimore Ravens class is officially under contract after the signing of wide receiver Miles Boykin. Boykin was a third-round pick out of Notre Dame.

3. Michael Vick joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Friday morning and when asked which young quarterbacks in the NFL most emulate his style, he answered: "Lamar Jackson" along with Kyler Murray and Cam Newton.

Looking Ahead:

July 24: Ravens training camp begins. Rookies are set to report a week earlier on Wednesday, July 17. 

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: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

The number eight is sports royalty in the city of Baltimore thanks to Cal Ripken Jr.

If Lamar Jackson has the career many are hoping for, he’ll be another reason for that one day down the road.

For now, he’s a young, athletic quarterback entering his second season in Charm City. But his successful rookie year hasn’t been reflected in Madden NFL 20’s newest ratings.

Jackson came in with an overall rating of 76, tied for 24th among all quarterbacks. Unsurprisingly, his athleticism is highly-regarded, as he leads all signal-callers in speed, acceleration, agility, and elusiveness.

Questions abound about his throwing abilities, leading to the low rating. But that’s not a concern for Jackson himself.

“I can’t feel no way,” the quarterback told media members prior to throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles-Nationals game Wednesday night. “You know, I don’t make Madden. That’s them. But I feel like our team, we’re going to show ‘em this season.”

Jackson continued to praise the Ravens roster. When asked about the high ratings for teammates like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Earl Thomas, Jackson put his thoughts quite succinctly: “We look stacked!”

Of course, with speed and acceleration ratings like Jackson has, it’s fun to imagine how he might fit in on a baseball diamond as well.

“Whew, somewhere in the middle, to make a play,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde decided when asked where the Ravens quarterback might play on his roster.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m a big football fan, so watched him play a lot. And if he wanted to play center field or up the middle, it’d be great,” Hyde continued.

The speedy quarterback agreed, though it came with a caveat.

“Probably,” Jackson quickly answered when asked about his best fit being center field. “But you know, I’m the Ravens QB right now, so I’m good.”

He doesn’t know what his walk-up song would be if he played baseball, but Jackson was definitive about one thing at least: his hot dog preferences.

“I don’t really eat mustard,” he emphasized. “So I just put ketchup, relish...I just go from there. Pretty standard.”

When he’s not eating hot dogs, Jackson is working hard to build chemistry with his new receiving corps, and he seemed optimistic about the results it will bring on the field.

“Looking pretty good,” he described. “You’ll have to see for yourself.”

Knowing how many dual Orioles and Ravens fans there are in Baltimore, Jackson was also happy to provide a little hope as the city’s attention starts to shift from baseball to football. He gave a message to O’s fans who have sat through months of losing baseball and are looking to the Ravens to bring winning back to the city.

“Look forward to us coming out and balling,” he said. “Can’t say too much right now, [the] season’s not here!”

The Ravens season will be here soon enough, and when it is, Jackson will be ready to go out and show both local and national fans what he can do, regardless of what his Madden rating says.

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