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Schedule focus: November

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Schedule focus: November

(Third installment of a month by month examination of the Ravens' 2012 schedule.)

Nov. 4Ravens at Cleveland BrownsCleveland Stadium, Cleveland, 1 pm
Skinny: The sight of the Ravens always seems to depress the football fans in the franchises former city. Theres usually an early burst of cheering followed by quiet as the Ravens slowly pull away.

Opponent: The Browns latest attempt to become more competitive revolves around amping up their offense, which averaged just 13.6 points a game in 2011. A pair of rookie first-round picks, running back Trent Richardson (No. 3 overall) and quarterback Brandon Weeden, are the centerpieces of that effort.

Nov. 11Oakland Raiders at RavensM&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, 1 pm
Skinny: The Raiders have never won in Baltimore, losing four straight games starting with the Ravens inaugural contest on Sept. 1, 1996, at Memorial Stadium.

Opponent: The Raiders are on their third head coach in four years. Can you name him? (Tick, tick.) Its Dennis Allen, formerly the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. Early returns are favorable. It will be interesting to see if the team operates any differently now that the legendary Al Davis has passed away.

Nov. 18Ravens at Pittsburgh SteelersHeinz Field, Pittsburgh, 8:20 pm
Skinny: The Ravens and Steelers played both of their games in the first half of the season in 2011. It didnt feel right. Now they play two in three weeks starting with this one.

Opponent: Hines Ward is gone along with several other members of the Steelers old guard, but the biggest change is on the sidelines, where Todd Haley has taken over for Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator. The Steelers offense didnt fare especially well against the Ravens defense in 2011, so it will be interesting to see how Haley approaches these rivalry games.

Nov. 25Ravens at San Diego ChargersQualcomm Stadium, San Diego, 4:05 pm
Skinny: Eleven months later, the Ravens return to the scene of their worst beating of 2011. It was so bad the Ravens are considering altering their West Coast travel plans after examining sleep-pattern studies.

Opponent: Watching the Chargers pound the Ravens last December, it was hard to fathom how such a dynamic team could miss the playoffs. But something always seems to go wrong in the end for the Chargers. They have one of the leagues most high-powered offenses, and they used their top two draft picks to add defensive players. As usual, and understandably, expectations are high.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

With training camp just six days away, here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens.

1. Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens have placed Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson and two others on the reserve/NFI list. He later added that Brown is still recovering from Lisfranc surgery but is "progressing well" and Ferguson is dealing with a "minor hamstring" injury.

2. The entire Baltimore Ravens class is officially under contract after the signing of wide receiver Miles Boykin. Boykin was a third-round pick out of Notre Dame.

3. Michael Vick joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Friday morning and when asked which young quarterbacks in the NFL most emulate his style, he answered: "Lamar Jackson" along with Kyler Murray and Cam Newton.

Looking Ahead:

July 24: Ravens training camp begins. Rookies are set to report a week earlier on Wednesday, July 17. 

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.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

The number eight is sports royalty in the city of Baltimore thanks to Cal Ripken Jr.

If Lamar Jackson has the career many are hoping for, he’ll be another reason for that one day down the road.

For now, he’s a young, athletic quarterback entering his second season in Charm City. But his successful rookie year hasn’t been reflected in Madden NFL 20’s newest ratings.

Jackson came in with an overall rating of 76, tied for 24th among all quarterbacks. Unsurprisingly, his athleticism is highly-regarded, as he leads all signal-callers in speed, acceleration, agility, and elusiveness.

Questions abound about his throwing abilities, leading to the low rating. But that’s not a concern for Jackson himself.

“I can’t feel no way,” the quarterback told media members prior to throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles-Nationals game Wednesday night. “You know, I don’t make Madden. That’s them. But I feel like our team, we’re going to show ‘em this season.”

Jackson continued to praise the Ravens roster. When asked about the high ratings for teammates like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Earl Thomas, Jackson put his thoughts quite succinctly: “We look stacked!”

Of course, with speed and acceleration ratings like Jackson has, it’s fun to imagine how he might fit in on a baseball diamond as well.

“Whew, somewhere in the middle, to make a play,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde decided when asked where the Ravens quarterback might play on his roster.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m a big football fan, so watched him play a lot. And if he wanted to play center field or up the middle, it’d be great,” Hyde continued.

The speedy quarterback agreed, though it came with a caveat.

“Probably,” Jackson quickly answered when asked about his best fit being center field. “But you know, I’m the Ravens QB right now, so I’m good.”

He doesn’t know what his walk-up song would be if he played baseball, but Jackson was definitive about one thing at least: his hot dog preferences.

“I don’t really eat mustard,” he emphasized. “So I just put ketchup, relish...I just go from there. Pretty standard.”

When he’s not eating hot dogs, Jackson is working hard to build chemistry with his new receiving corps, and he seemed optimistic about the results it will bring on the field.

“Looking pretty good,” he described. “You’ll have to see for yourself.”

Knowing how many dual Orioles and Ravens fans there are in Baltimore, Jackson was also happy to provide a little hope as the city’s attention starts to shift from baseball to football. He gave a message to O’s fans who have sat through months of losing baseball and are looking to the Ravens to bring winning back to the city.

“Look forward to us coming out and balling,” he said. “Can’t say too much right now, [the] season’s not here!”

The Ravens season will be here soon enough, and when it is, Jackson will be ready to go out and show both local and national fans what he can do, regardless of what his Madden rating says.

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