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Ravens report card: Defense, special teams

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Ravens report card: Defense, special teams

We've already graded the offense after the Ravens' 37-33 loss to Oakland. Now it's time to grade the defense and special teams. After giving up 37 points, did anyone pass?

DEFENSIVE LINE: D

The Ravens allowed about 5 yards a carry on the ground (19 carries, 97 yards) and generally got pushed around. There was no pressure up the middle on Derek Carr, and Timmy Jernigan committed a terrible roughing-the-passer penalty that handed the Raiders 15 yards on their game-winning drive. The starting front three of Jernigan, Brandon Williams and Chris Canty had a combined total of one tackle.

LINEBACKERS: F

The Ravens had no pass rush whatsoever, allowing Derek Carr to sit back and carve up the Ravens defense (351 yards passing). True, Terrell Suggs was out, but Elvis Dumervil was no factor. Courtney Upshaw, Za'Darius Smith and Albert McClellan all saw time at outside linebacker and hardly ever got near Carr. Upshaw was again badly mismatched when he had to drop into coverage. C.J. Mosley (9) and Daryl Smith (8) led the team in tackles, but they both missed tackles as well. Paging Jason Babin ...

SECONDARY: D-

The Ravens secondary was picked apart, but when any NFL quarterback has as much time as Derek Carr did, that's bound to happen. Jimmy Smith got badly beaten by Amari Cooper on the Raiders' first touchdown, and Michael Crabtree got 10 yards behind Lardarius Webb on another play as Webb bit on Carr's rollout. Only an underthrown ball kept that from being an easy touchdown. On the Raiders' game-winning score, Seth Roberts got all alone in the Ravens zone after Kyle Arrington let him go by. Arrington was also beaten deep when he had to play outside after Webb briefly left the game. Safety Kendrick Lewis got faked out of his shoes by Carr on a read-option, leading to a 24-yard run by Carr. Will Hill's interception was one of the few highlights, and a second pick that would have ended the game was waved off by a questionable defensive holding call.  

SPECIAL TEAMS: B+

Justin Tucker was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals, and Sam Koch netted 43.5 yards on two punts. Michael Campanaro had one kick return of 29 yards, but Steve Smith let a punt drop that ultimately rolled into a 70-yard kick. The Ravens punt coverage team allowed just 5 yards on two returns.

MORE RAVENS: GRADING THE TEAM'S OFFENSE IN OAKLAND 

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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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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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