All NFL fans should be rejoicing at the return of the regular referees, and Ravens fans in particular should be happy that the official officials will be back for Thursdays Ravens-Browns game.
Having the game officiated competently can only be an advantage for the Ravens, who are the better team. The lesser refs would have been bad for both teams, of course, but would have tended to tilt the field a bit for the Browns.
One of the big problems with the replacements was the tempo of the games, which slowed considerably as they fretted over which call to make and where to put the ball and how much time was on the clock. This would have negated the effect of the Ravens no-huddle offense.
Now, with referees who are up to the task of letting play flow, the Ravens can run the no-huddle, putting the Browns back on their heels without Cleveland getting help from the officials to cut the pace.
Plus, the Ravens defensive backs and wide receivers dont have to be concerned about what kind of new odd interferenceholdingillegal contact penalties might come flying at them. No, it will just be the regular odd calls theyd gotten accustomed to in previous seasons.
So, the rule is: Better officials are better for better teams. And for bettors, too, but we wont get into that.
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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