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Ravens won't overlook Rivers and Chargers

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Ravens won't overlook Rivers and Chargers

When the Ravens went to San Diego last year, they simply couldn't control quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers. The San Diego offense moved the ball almost at will and rolled to an easy 34-14 victory. 

The Ravens will be looking for a better result this year, starting with trying to slow Rivers. He completed 17 of 23 passes for 270 yards and one touchdown last year. Rivers completed just about everything he tried in that game as the Chargers moved up and down the field with ease. In fact, they also ran for 145 yards and never even needed to punt.

The Chargers are struggling this season, coming into this game with a 4-6 record, but the Ravens know they can't take them lightly, especially after what happened in last year's contest.

"You definitely can’t overlook anybody," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "This team is dangerous. This team is very dangerous. They have a lot of weapons, and they have a very good offense.”

The biggest weapon is Rivers. He's been up and down at times in the past two seasons, but when he's on, the former North Carolina State star remains one of the NFL's top guns. Last year, he picked the Ravens' defense apart, and they don't want a repeat of that. 

The Ravens need to get some pressure on Rivers and not let him stand back there in the pocket and do whatever he wants. Last year, Joe Flacco got sacked seven times in this game -- but Rivers didn't get sacked at all. That was a big reason that Rivers and the Chargers did so well. 

The Ravens' defense has played much better in the last three weeks, but the wins they've gotten have come against teams without dominant quarterbacks. That's why this Sunday's match-up in San Diego is going to be a test for a defense that appears to be finding its way.

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Jalen Hurts' defiant NFL Combine comments mirror Lamar Jackson's

Jalen Hurts' defiant NFL Combine comments mirror Lamar Jackson's

It seems kind of laughable now, doesn’t it?

In 2018, questions about Lamar Jackson’s future position were unavoidable. His speed and elusiveness, combined with a spotty track record when it came to accuracy, had teams salivating about his potential at a number of skill positions in the NFL -- quarterback not included.

Now, coming off a unanimous MVP campaign, during which he rewrote record books and established himself as one of the young faces of the next generation of quarterbacks, it’s strange to look back on a time when the majority of football pundits thought his future was at wide receiver or running back.

Jackson’s undeniable success has not only taken the NFL by storm, it’s paved the way for future athletic college quarterbacks to stick at the position.

Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, formerly of Alabama and one of the top players in the country, is receiving the same questions at this year’s NFL Combine that Jackson fielded at his. Namely, is he willing to switch positions?

His answer mirrors Jackson’s. He’s a quarterback only, and he has no interest in switching positions to appease an organization with less foresight than what the Ravens had with Jackson.

While Hurts didn’t mention Jackson by name in his reasoning, it’s hard not to draw parallels. Jackson’s 2019 season was one for the history books, and his influence will continue to trickle down to future generations.

Players like Jackson and Hurts haven’t always had the same opportunities to succeed -- or, more importantly, fail -- as other, more “traditional” quarterbacks have had in the course of NFL history. But organizations that are creative and willing to tailor their offensive schemes to the attributes of their quarterbacks are taking advantage of a largely backward-minded league.

Teams that look at Hurts and see a unique skillset full of things he can do, rather than what he can’t, are the way of the future. 

Hurts himself, along with a generation of fellow athletic quarterbacks entering the league over the next few seasons, are betting on this future when they demand to be evaluated as quarterbacks only.

They may have found a way to push through on their own. But Jackson’s incredible year has opened up the path in a major way, making it that much easier for the next crop of unique, talented quarterbacks to shine.

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Report: Marquise Brown has offseason surgery to remove screw from foot, will be healed for training camp

Report: Marquise Brown has offseason surgery to remove screw from foot, will be healed for training camp

According to a report from Ian Rapoport, Marquise Brown is fixing last offseason’s fix.

Brown reportedly had off-season surgery to remove a screw from his injured foot, hampered by a Lisfranc injury. The move isn’t expected to keep Brown out for spring training, though it will limit him in the off-season program.

As a rookie in 2019, Brown had 46 receptions for 584 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games played. He posted seven receptions and 126 yards in the team’s loss to the Titans in the divisional round. 

Brown was the team’s best deep threat and posted five games with catches of more than 30 yards last season. 

The injury affected him all season, but it appears that the former Oklahoma Sooner will be completely healthy for his second go-round with the Ravens. 

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