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Ravens secondary suffers through another long day

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Ravens secondary suffers through another long day

If the Ravens are going to be a playoff team next season, their secondary will have to play much better.

Russell Wilson of the Seahawks became the latest quarterback to light up the Ravens, throwing five touchdown passes during Sunday’s 35-6 rout. It wasn’t like Wilson needed to make perfect throws, or his receivers needed to make great catches. The Ravens reverted to blowing assignments far too often, leaving Seahawks receivers running wide open in the secondary.

That has happened far too often this season for coach John Harbaugh’s taste. To see it happen in Week 14 with just three games left in the season was particularly alarming.

“We had assignment issues, we had technique issues,” Harbaugh said following the game. “We didn’t match up correctly on a bunch route. We had two guys playing it one way and one guy playing it another way. It was bad. It has to be better than that. It’s no individual guy’s fault, it’s just not as good as it needs to be. I’ll take responsibility for that. We have to play way, way better pass defense.”

Four quarterbacks have enjoyed their season high in passing yards against the Ravens this season:

Derek Carr, Raiders, 351 yards in Week 2

Andy Dalton, Bengals, 383 yards in Week 3

Josh McCown, Browns, 457 yards in Week 5

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers, 340 yards in Week 6

Wilson throw for 292 yards Sunday, and the five touchdown passes equaled the five he threw against the Steelers in Week 12.

Can the Ravens play better pass defense next season without dramatically changing personnel? That’s one of many subjects that will be discussed this offseason. It’s reasonable to expect cornerback Jimmy Smith to play solidly in 2016, in his second season following foot surgery in 2014. Before his injury, Smith was playing the best football of his career, and often the second year after an athlete’s major surgery is better than the first.

However, cornerback Lardarius Webb was beaten badly several times Sunday. Safeties Kendrick Lewis and Will Hill have both been better defending the run than the pass. Second-year safety Terrence Brooks has been inconsistent, and has taken some needless penalties. While cornerback Shareece Wright has come on late in the season, cornerback Kyle Arrington has not been the consistent nickel corner the Ravens expected, and rookie Tray Walker is raw and often inactive for games.

The Ravens’ coverage and communication issues were magnified Sunday, because the pass rush was weak, and Wilson was never sacked. But a secondary that gives up big plays makes a defense vulnerable. Once again, improving the secondary will be a major focal point for the front office this offseason.

MORE RAVENS: Brown: Ravens should stick with Clausen

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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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