Leaders can't be replaced just like that. It just doesn't happen that way on a good team and especially where someone's been a leader for almost 17 years.
That's what Ray Lewis has been on the Baltimore defense, and now that he's gone for the season, the Ravens need someone to step up.
Here's guessing that this opens the door for someone like Jameel McClain to step in. McClain played very well when Lewis missed four games last year. The defense was stronger last season, but if McClain can do now what he did then, he'll go a long way towards helping the Ravens wake up on defense.
This defense needs someone to be the player that everyone looks to because, if nothing else, that's what Lewis did so well. He put everyone in the right spots, got them doing the right things. That's just as important as making big plays. If someone is in the place they're supposed to be in, then it can help make it harder for opposing teams to find their own big plays.
It's something that doesn't show up on a stats sheet, but every team needs it.
McClain is starting to blossom in that way. The more he plays, the better he gets. Plus, McClain now knows that the job is his for the rest of this season. He's not coming out -- unless injured -- so he's got the time to kind of learn on the fly. The Ravens need him to settle into the job fast.
Game 1 for the depleted defense comes this weekend against a Houston team that's going to be ticked after Green Bay embarrassed them last week. That's not good for the Ravens. Baltimore did play them twice last year and should remember a few things.
The biggest thing the Ravens will need Sunday is for McClain and others to help the defense stay somewhat stable. How far that can be taken is anybody's guess.
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.
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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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