A major issue for the Ravens has been with the receivers getting separation to give quarterback Joe Flacco a better chance of opening up the no-huddle offense.
In Sunday's comeback win vs. the New England Patriots, they did just that.
Flacco completed passes to eight different receivers. And instead of targeting tight end Dennis Pitta 15 times like he had in the previous game, a 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Flacco was able to spread the wealth. That made for a more dynamic offense as Flacco threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns.
Torrey Smith, who had a team-high six catches for a game-high 127 yards, was targeted 10 times by Flacco. Pitta had five catches for 50 yards but was targeted only seven times. Anquan Boldin finished with four catches for 48 yards in seven targets. Jacoby Jones only had three catches but had 86 yards in four targets. Ray Rice caught the ball all five times he was targeted for 49.
Figuring out the seams in the Patriots' Cover 2 scheme -- using two safeties to play over the top in the deep zones -- was part of it.
"We had to adjust to what they was doing," Jones said. "They were playing a Cover 2 but they were playing it kind of different. Once we figured out what we were doing it was easy to find the soft spots out there. The safeties didn't really come off the hash (marks) that much.
Just as important was that the replacement officials started calling opposing defenses for illegal contact after five yards downfield. Before Flacco's 5-yard strike to Smith that pulled the Ravens to 30-28, he was sacked for a 12-yard loss. That was negated, however, by a defensive holding call on Brandon Spikes.
Earlier in that drive, Devin McCourty was called for defensive holding on 2nd-and-14 that gave the Ravens an automatic first down.
"It was a technique thing. We did a better job of getting off some of the grabbing stuff," coach John Harbaugh said. "I also think it got called in this game. And when it gets called it cleans up that stuff pretty quick."
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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