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Ravens-Eagles instant analysis


Ravens-Eagles instant analysis

Eagles 24, Ravens 23
at Lincoln Financial Field

The hurry-up offense went nowhere fast Sunday.

And when it came to coming up big in the clutch, quarterback Michael Vick upstaged Ravens counterpart Joe Flacco.

After Vick thew four interceptions in a come-from-behind, 17-16 victory at the Cleveland Browns, Vick did it again. He overcame two interceptions, passed 23-for-32 and 371 yards and had the go-ahead score on a 1-yard run after the two-minute warning.

The Ravens' defense did it's job, but was constantly asked to shoulder the burden with the offense failing to convert on nine of its first 10 third downs.

The defense forced the Eagles into four turnovers -- all on drives in Baltimore's territory, including two in the red zone, but Flacco couldn't establish enough of a cushion even though the Ravens led 17-7 at the half.

LeSean McCoy had two fumbles for Philadelphia. The first was on a botched handoff that was recovered by Albert McClellan. The second on came on a hit by Lardarius Webb, jarring the ball loose for Ray Lewis to recover.

It wasn't enough as Flacco didn't have the stellar statistical game that he had a week ago when he threw for 299 yards, two touchdowns and a 124.8 passer rating. He was 22-for-42 for 232 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also lost a fumble.

Player of the game: Justin Tucker. Several players are worthy of note, such as McClellan, but Tucker is a rookie kicker in a hostile environment. He hit three field goals, two from more than 50 yards, that almost proved to be the difference. He tied a Ravens record from 56 yards to give his team a 17-7 lead at the half and gave them them the lead again at 20-17 in the fourth from 51 yards. His 48-yarder set the final margin. Tucker converted more field goals from 50-plus yards in this one game than veteran Billy Cundiff, who he beat out for the job, made all of last season.

Turning point: After going 1-for-9 on third downs as the offense stalled drive after drive, Flacco converted a 3rd-and-11 and 3rd-and-8 on passes to Ray Rice in the fourth quarter, the latter going for 37 yards to set up Tucker's third field goal. But Jacoby Jones' touchdown catch, also on third down, was erased because he was called for pass interference. The Ravens only led by six rather than 10, which would've put the game out of reach for Vick.

Heads-up play: When Tucker nailed a 56-yard field goal with one second left in the second quarter, it was well-orchestrated. The Eagles got the ball with 1:05 left after a key punt by Sam Koch pinned the Eagles on their own 6-yard line. Coach Andy Reid opted to run the ball and run out the clock, but the Ravens wisely used their timeouts to force a punt instead. Eagles punter Chas Henry floated his second duck of the game, this one traveled only 38 yards, as the Ravens took over at Philadelphia's 38 with 18 seconds left. They ran one play and then brought out Tucker for a two-possession edge.

Highlights: The much-maligned run defense, even without Paul Kruger (back), performed well in holding McCoy to 81 yards on 25 carries. Deonte Thompson shows why he's still the primary kick returner. After the Ravens fell down 7-0 in the first quarter, he brought the ball back 49 yards to give them a short field. ... Upshaw and McClellan had solid performances. Upshaw dropped McCoy for a four-yard loss as he got to the edge of the red zone.

Lowlights: Pass protection still is a question mark. Flacco was sacked three times vs. Cincinnati, and he was hit early in this one, leading to a fumble that resulted in Philadelphia's first touchdown. It was the first turnover of the season. He was sacked twice Sunday ... The Ravens took a gamble near midfield in the second quarter. Sean Considine took the snap on 4th-and-4 in a punt formation but was stopped a yard shy. Fortunately for the Ravens, the defense forced a turnover to negate it. ... Overall they were 4-for-14 on third downs. ... Rice rushed for 99 yards on 16 carries. He needed more.

Injury: Bernard Pollard left in the first half with what appeared to be an injury to his right shoulder and didn't return.

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 


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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."