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Ray Lewis: Fewer pounds means pounding?

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Ray Lewis: Fewer pounds means pounding?

As noted at baltimoreravens.com, Ray Lewis sleeker physique is being scrutinized as the Ravens have given up unprecedented chunks of yardage in the running game.

Sports Illustrateds Peter King: Ray Lewis really got pushed around by the Chiefs. That weight loss looks like it's hurting him a lot. He just isn't a factor against the run the way he used to be.

Kings SI colleague, Don Banks: "Remember when Baltimore's defense was one of the best in the business when it came to stopping the run? Those days seem long gone. Couldn't have anything to do with that new, lighter and faster Ray Lewis we've heard so much about this year, could it?

Let me respectfully disagree that this has anything to do with Lewis lighter frame. Lewis is getting blocked, sure, but thats not a function of his weighing less. Even at his previous, more husky size, the linebacker was always outweighed by offensive linemen, nearly all of whom check in at 300 pounds or more. As strong as he was if you buy into the idea that hes appreciably less strong now Lewis wasnt going to consistently out-wrestle guys who had 50 or so pounds on him. Remember, some years back, before Haloti Ngatas arrival, about how Lewis said he wanted massive defensive tackles in front of him to keep those offensive linemen occupied, leaving him free to seek out running backs?

If Lewis is getting blocked now, it isnt because he doesnt have the heft to fight off the blocks. Maybe its because, despite trying to get lighter and faster, hes not quick enough anymore to constantly outmaneuver the blocking. Because thats what he was doing before roaming sideline to sideline, shooting the gaps, slicing in to nail the running back.

Yes, we can agree this is a weighty issue. But its not about Lewis weight.

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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!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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AP Images

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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