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Ravens-Rams Instant Analysis

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Ravens-Rams Instant Analysis

Rams 31, Ravens 17
at Edward Jones Dome

ST. LOUIS -- Not much should be read into this loss as no Ravens player on the fringe made a strong case for making the final cut now that preseason is over.

Coach Jim Harbaugh rested most of his starters in last year's preseason finale, too, so his decision wasn't a surprise. He only used four projected starters against the Rams' first-team, but he could be seen badgering his team on the sideline for its sloppy play from start to finish.

While the offense initially moved the ball well under backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, it failed to score with him in the game and gave up a costly fumble inside its own 10-yard line as the deficit grew to 14-0 after the first quarter. Curtis Painter relieved Taylor in the second half and tossed three interceptions.

Rookie lineman Kelechi Osemele, who is projected to start at guard, was in the lineup at right tackle. He was joined by projected starters at linebacker Paul Kruger and Albert McClellan and defensive back Cary Williams.

Bernard Pierce, who has a firm grip on the No. 2 running back spot, averaged nine yards on his first three carries as the Ravens moved the ball to St. Louis' 41-yard line until the drive stalled.

A breakdown of what happened for the Ravens:

Player of the game: Vacant.

Telltale stat: Four turnovers and no sacks of the Rams' QBs.

Turning point: Taylor was hit from behind and stripped with the Ravens on their on 14. Robert Quinn was credited with the sack, the strip and recovery that gave the Rams a 14-point lead to put the game out of reach early.

Highlights: Osemele played right tackle where he was matched against Rams defensive end Chris Long. He kept him off the quarterback, not allowing a sack. ... Deonte Thompson was solid returning kicks on special teams and had a difficult 11-yard TD catch across the middle in the fourth quarter. He finished with six receptions for 68 yards.

Lowlights: It was a dreadful showing by Brendon Ayanbadejo as his decision-making and ability to close out plays. He was sucked inside on third-and-2 and allowed Steven Jackson to get wide for a first down. He whiffed on a few tackles on one drive alone and allowed a 23-yard gain on a touchdown drive by the Rams by going for the strip rather than the tackle. ... Ayanbadejo, Nigel Carr and Paul Kruger were beaten on routes underneath for touchdown throws by Sam Bradford. ... Sergio Kindle was called for a roughing the passer when he hit Bradford long after he threw the ball on 3rd and 15. That led to an automatic first down and three plays later a 21-0 deficit. ... Justin Tucker missed his first field goal of the preseason since winning the job earlier this week from Billy Cundiff. The kick sailed wide left from 57 yards. ... Playing left tackle, Cord Howard was beaten badly on the edge, allowing the sack of Taylor that caused the fumble. ... Giving up a 46-yard catch to Steve Smith, cornerback Jimmy Smith fell down and then stopped playing after the catch. The receiver eventually fell, too, but he wasn't tackled and still inbounds. ... After Curtis Painter overthrew Bobby Rainey for an interception by Craig Dahl, Dorian Graham stripped Dahl and recovered the ball for Baltimore. Then Painter throws a high pass that deflects off the 5-foot-8 Rainey's hands and is picked off by Janoris Jenkins and returned 76 yards for a touchdown. ... The kickoff coverage remains inadequate as Rainey was drawn inside and sealed with a block that allowed Chris Givens to return the ball to the Rams' 36 and an offsides penalty advanced it to the 41.

Nice recovery: After being called for 35-yard pass interference call that put the ball in the red zone in the second quarter, Danny Gorrer intercepted Rams backup QB Kellen Clemens.

Notable: Anthony Allen, after being virtually ignored in the previous two games and playing just special teams, got five carries in the second half in front of undrafted rookie Damien Berry who played special teams until the fourth quarter when he had a 10-yard rush.

Up next: Harbaugh will cut down his roster to 53 players on Friday.

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4 prospects Baltimore Ravens fans should be keeping an eye on in 2019 NFL Draft

4 prospects Baltimore Ravens fans should be keeping an eye on in 2019 NFL Draft

The Baltimore Ravens will add to their historic franchise this weekend during the 2019 NFL Draft. All eyes will be set on who they take with their first pick, whether that's at No. 22 or beyond. 

With a handful of needs, which prospects should you be aware of? Here are four players projected to possibly land with the Ravens Thursday night.

WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi

Metcalf grabbed the attention of the football world during the NFL Combine, running a 4.33 40-yard dash and posting a 40.5 vertical jump. The jury is still out, however, on how he'll pan out in the NFL. Metcalf missed part of the 2018 season with a neck injury and a foot injury derailed his 2016 season after just two games. Metcalf admitted that his history of injuries was brought up often when meeting with NFL teams, and his apparent 1.9% body fat simply isn't healthy, according to a combine trainer. Nonetheless, draft experts have the receiver as a top option for the Ravens. 

DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

The Ravens are going to need some help on defense after losing Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za'Darius Smith in free agency. Ferrell had 38 tackles for loss and 21 sacks over the last two seasons with the National Champions. Standing at 6'4", 264 pounds, the defensive end's combine profile describes him as having "prototypical size, length and strength to offer early help against both the run and pass."

C/G Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

The Ravens could be looking for their center of the future. McCoy earned a starting role with the Aggies during the 2016 season, starting all 16 games after redshirting his freshman season. In his sophomore season, McCoy helped Texas A&M average 406.8 yards per game. From 2016-19, the center helped his team rush for over 2,000 yards. A talent like that could be extremely helpful with Lamar Jackson under center. 

WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Another wide receiver in the mix, Brown averaged more than 18 yards per reception over two years at Oklahoma, racking up 1,300 yards with 10 touchdowns on 75 receptions in 2018 alone. Nicknamed "Hollywood," the 21-year-old's speed and ability to threaten deep "gives him a chance to become the most impactful wideout in this draft."

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.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

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Baltimore Ravens and kicker Justin Tucker agree to four-year contract extension

Baltimore Ravens and kicker Justin Tucker agree to four-year contract extension

The most accurate kicker in NFL history is staying in Baltimore.

The Ravens announced Wednesday that they have agreed to a contract extension with kicker Justin Tucker. The four-year extension will keep him in Baltimore through the 2023 season. The extension is reportedly worth $23.05 million, including $12.5 million fully guaranteed in the first two years and an $8 million signing bonus.

Tucker, who was entering the final year of his second contract, is a two-time Pro Bowler who has made 90.1 percent of his field goal attempts through his seven-year career. In 2018, Tucker converted 35-of-39 field goal attempts and 36 of the Ravens' 27 extra points. He was also named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice last season and has a franchise-record nine nominations.

An undrafted free agent in 2012, the 29-year-old owns an NFL-record seven-career games with multiple 50-plus-yard field goals and became the only kicker in league history to kick field goals from the 20-, 30-, 40-, 50- and 60-yard ranges in a single game. 

Keeping Tucker in Baltimore is a major win for the Ravens this offseason. The team will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to officially announce his extension. 

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.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: