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Risks lead to costly picks for Flacco

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Risks lead to costly picks for Flacco

Joe Flacco wants to take risks, not just in the passing game but when it comes to passing in the red zone.

The Ravens are using a hurry-up offense and arent being predictable by running on first and second and then waiting to third down to pass.

The result is that Flacco has thrown for 1,269 yards after just four games for a 317.3 yards-per-game average compared to 973 passing yards and 243.3 per game at this point last season.

Flacco has seven touchdown passes and three interceptions. Those were his same touchdown and interception numbers a season ago, and the Ravens have the same record at 3-1.

All three picks this season, however, have been costly. The first one was a game-changer vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, the second allowed the New England Patriots to take a big lead early and the third one prevented the Ravens from pulling away from the Cleveland Browns.

-- On the opening drive of the third quarter vs. the Eagles with the ball near midfield and a chance to expand on a 17-7 lead, Flacco forced pass to Dennis Pitta, who he targeted 15 times in the game. DeMeco Ryans stepped underneath the route and six plays later the score was 17-14 as the Eagles came back to win 24-23.

-- On the Ravens second possession vs. the Patriots, Flacco threw an interception to Stephen Gregory, who returned the ball to the 6 to set up their first touchdown for a 10-0 lead. The Ravens had to rally for a 31-30 comeback victory.

-- On the third possession vs. the Cleveland Browns, Flacco inherited the possession after special teams forced a turnover. With the ball deep in Browns territory, Flacco forced a pass into coverage to Anquan Boldin and it was intercepted by Craig Robertson. It was Flaccos first red-zone interception in 125 throws and first since 2009. The game stayed scoreless though the Ravens eventually won 23-16.

The Ravens easily could be 4-0. But that's the risk that comes with opening up the offense and taking more chances.

"The guy that picked me off was standing on the line of scrimmage and he just took off that way," Flacco said of his interception against Cleveland. "I threw the ball and I thought I had a touchdown. ... I didn't see him at all. It's just one of those things. It happens. You have to shake it off."

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: 20 prospects linked to Baltimore at No. 22

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: 20 prospects linked to Baltimore at No. 22

We've made in to NFL draft week. Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The 2019 NFL Draft is Thursday night in Nashville, Tn. While the chances of pundits predicting each team's first-round pick accurately is about the same as picking the Powerball numbers, we can't seem to stop ourselves from looking at them. Here's a look at 20 prospects mocked to the Ravens at No. 22, courtesy of the Ravens' website.  


2. One of the many exciting parts of the NFL draft is waiting to hear which organizations trade forward or backwards to acquire a pick. Just last year, the Ravens traded back from their No. 16 pick several times to select Hayden Hurst at No. 25, before trading back into the first-round to pick Lamar Jackson at No. 32. But which trade in Ravens history was the most impactful? ESPN's Jamison Hensley selected the Ravens' trade for running back Jamal Lewis.


"In 1999, the Ravens traded their second-round pick (No. 43) for Atlanta's first-round pick in 2000, which they used to land running back Jamal Lewis," Hensley wrote. "The Falcons selected tight end Reggie Kelly, and the Ravens got what turned into the No. 5 overall pick in the 2000 draft. Baltimore drafted Lewis, who carried the offense during the team's 2000 Super Bowl championship season and recorded the NFL's fifth 2,000-yard season in 2003."


3. As Marlon Humphrey enters his third year in the league, the cornerback will not only be expected to take on a leadership role within the Ravens' new look defense, but top his impressive sophomore season. In 2018, Humphrey contested 35% of targets thrown into his coverage marking the second-best rate in all the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. 


Looking Ahead:

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get long-term deal done with designated franchise tag player

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Steve Bisciotti donates $100,000 to rebuilding historically black churches

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Steve Bisciotti donates $100,000 to rebuilding historically black churches

One more week of the NFL offseason in the books. Here's the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

Player/Team Notes:

1. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti donated $100,000 to help rebuilding efforts for three historically black churches in the Louisiana area that recently burned down by an alleged arsonists. An effort led by former tight end Benjamin Watson, Bisciotti reached out to him Sunday committing his donation. 

2. The GOAT gene has transferred from Justin Tucker to his son, Easton. The kicker posted a video on his Instagram Thursday of the little guy kicking a (mini) field goal right down the middle, just like his dad. 

Looking Ahead:

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp

The 2019 NFL schedule is set!  See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: