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Some predictions for Ravens-Patriots

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Some predictions for Ravens-Patriots

It's only the third week of the season, but yes, Sunday's game with the Patriots probably can be considered a big contest.
The Ravens certainly don't want to fall to 1-2 although they wouldn't be worse than one game behind anyone in the AFC North. They certainly don't want to lose a big game at home since it's so much harder to win on the road.
And now, here's some predictions for Sunday night's battle with New England.
1. The defense will do better. These guys are, um, well, let's say ticked at what happened in Philadelphia last weekend. They made it clear throughout the week that this would should be a different story on Sunday, even if they are going against a team as good as the Patriots.
2.The pass rush still is going to be inconsistent but will look better enough to make life tough for Tom Brady at times. If the Ravens need to do better on the pass rush, can they do it without having to blitz all the time and leaving the secondary facing too much man coverage? That's a big question the Ravens must answer.
3. Same as above with the run defense. That's also been surprisingly inconsistent throughout the first two games. They need to do better and should in this game.
4. Tom Brady won't pick them to pieces. The Ravens have done a good job of keeping him under control in recent meetings, especially in last year's AFC title game. They should be able to do the same this time.
5. Ray Rice and Torrey Smith each should be busy and spend most of the night making the Patriots chase them up and down the field. That will give the Ravens lots of push on offense.
6. The Ravens love the spotlight, the big stage, whatever you want to call it. And playing on national TV after letting one slip away last week should have them fired up enough. It may not be perfect, but the Ravens will pull this one out.
Prediction: Ravens 31, Patriots 24

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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