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Ravens fall to Raiders: 5 things you need to know

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Ravens fall to Raiders: 5 things you need to know

OAKLAND – Here are five things we learned after the Ravens fell to 0-2, losing to the Raiders, 37-33:

1. The Ravens are in trouble, 0-2 for the first time under John Harbaugh.

This was a must-win the Ravens didn’t get, and it left them dead last (0-2) in the AFC North. The result makes the Ravens’ home opener against the Bengals (2-0) next week even more crucial. If the Bengals start 3-0, and the Ravens start 0-3, do you think the Ravens will win the AFC North? I don’t.

2.  The Ravens’ decision to stay West before this game didn’t help.

The Ravens spend the week practicing in San Jose, spent nine days on the road, and for what? To go 0-2, that’s what. And they are planning another weeklong stay out West in October when they play the 49ers and Cardinals back-to-back. By the end of October, the Ravens will have spent a lot of time on the road. But if they don’t starting playing better, they’re going to be in deep trouble by the time they reach Week 8.

MORE RAVENS: SMITH, TUCK HAD TO BE SEPARATED AT HALF

3.  Linebacker Terrell Suggs was missed. 

If you give up 37 points to the Raiders, you deserve to lose. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had a ton of time to throw all day. This was the Ravens’ first game after Suggs’ season-ending Achilles injury, and the defense didn’t react well. The amount of time Carr had to throw also led to mistakes in the Ravens’ secondary. Newly-signed pass rusher Jason Babin was not activated for this game, but whether Babin eventually helps or not, it will be difficult for the Ravens’ defense to succeed if their pass rush remains this dormant. 

4.  The Ravens have a pass-catching tight end in Crockett Gillmore 

This was a statement game for Gillmore (five catches, 88 yards, two touchdowns), one of the few Ravens positives to take from this game. He showed his ability not only to get open, and to make powerful runs after the catch. Gillmore overpowered three Raiders defenders to bull his way into the end zone. In only his second year, Gillmore entered the league labeled as a blocking tight end. In truth, he’s an all-around tight end who looks ready to become a weekly weapon in the Ravens’ offense. 

5.  The Ravens haven’t established an identity.

Last week, the Ravens’ offense didn’t score a touchdown. In this game, the Ravens’ defense couldn’t control Oakland’s offense. With Suggs gone, Steve Smith )10 catches 150 yards), Joe Flacco, and defensive vets like Elvis Dumervil and Chris Canty must help younger players to keep from panicking.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens rank higher than expected in preseason rankings

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens rank higher than expected in preseason rankings

Kick off your Wednesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including a high preseason ranking for the Ravens.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Ravens ranked higher than expected in Peter King's preseason rankings. King ranked the Ravens at No. 12, surprising for a defense that is working on development during this offseason. However, with the Ravens' signing of All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, maybe he will bring the fire the Ravens need on defense.

2. With day 2 of OTAs in the books, the focus has been on quarterback Lamar Jackson. Ravens writer, Kevin Eck noted that during the offseason, Jackson had been working out with Ravens quarterbacks coach, Joshua Harris along with receivers Jordan Lasley and Jaylen Smith, so it remains to be seen throughout the summer on whether or not he has improved namely his passing game. 

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

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: Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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Reaction: Peter King picks Ravens 12th in 2019 Power Rankings

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Reaction: Peter King picks Ravens 12th in 2019 Power Rankings

With OTAs underway, Peter King has released his 2019 NFL preseason power rankings and of the biggest surprises is the Baltimore Ravens landing at No. 12 on the list. Although stud Lamar Jackson surprised people last season, given the substandard state of their defense and the burden on Jackson to shoulder the load offensively, King may have the Ravens ranked a few spots too high. 

Let's start with the defense; it's got more holes than a slice of swiss cheese. Most notably they lost linebacker Terrell Suggs, the heart and soul of their defense for the past decade. Although past his prime, Suggs is still a productive player and they will undoubtedly miss his leadership. They released defensive back Eric Weddle, who was coming off two straight Pro-Bowl appearances. Their justification was that he's 34 and by releasing him, they could allocate the money to re-signing All-Pro linebacker C.J. Mosley. Solid reasoning, if Mosley didn't sign with the New York Jets in the offseason.

Credit must be given, however, to the four-year, $55 million contract given to former Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas. Coming off a broken leg, he is easily the biggest X-factor for this defense. If he produces like the Earl Thomas of old, it'll more than makeup for the loss of the Weddle. They'll also be getting back defensive tackle Willie Henry from injury, who's young and hungry.

Although last years' defense was one of, if not the top unit in the NFL, all anyone could manage to talk about was the dynamic offense led by rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. Coach John Harbaugh threw caution to the wind and handed the reins to Jackson in Week 10, and the Ravens proceeded to win six of their next seven games behind a run-dominated offense.

It's a toss-up if they'll be able to replicate that success this season. On the one hand, the unconventional attack took the league by storm last year and one could argue the league just needed time to adapt to this new-look offense. On the other hand, the Ravens did add some electric new pieces to the offense to replace the losses of wide receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown. 

They added Mark Ingram who is one of the best dual-threat running backs in the league when healthy. Their first-round pick, wide receiver Marquise Brown, is one of the fastest players Todd McShay has ever evaluated. Third-round pick wide receiver Miles Boykin was one of the 20 fastest players at the draft and fourth-round pick  Justice Hill registered the fastest 40 time for running backs at the combine. Adding young, electric talent will enhance Jackson's already stellar playmaking ability. 

At tight end, they're one of the deepest teams in the NFL, headed up by Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst. Keep in mind, however, that this is the NFL: it all starts with the quarterback. Jackson completed passes at a 58.2% clip last season. If the Ravens are serious about building around him, he'll have to improve as a passer. 

Taking the defensive deficiencies and questions on offense into account, and 12 is too high for the preseason power rankings; 16 is more appropriate. In his article, King writes about the Ravens saying, "They could win 11. They could win six." If I had to choose one outcome I'd take the latter. 

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