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Sunday's NFL Capsules

Sunday's NFL Capsules

HOUSTON (AP) Matt Schaub threw two touchdown passes, Arian Foster ran for two scores and the Houston Texans dominated a showdown of the AFC's two teams, routing the Baltimore Ravens 43-13 on Sunday.

Johnathan Joseph returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown and the Texans (6-1) beat Baltimore for the first time in seven meetings. Antonio Smith had two sacks, J.J. Watt deflected the pass that led to Joseph's interception and Houston's defense returned to form after an embarrassing loss to Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay last week.

Terrell Suggs, the 2011 defensive player of the year, had a sack and three tackles in his first action for Baltimore (5-2) since undergoing surgery on his right Achilles tendon last May. Joe Flacco threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.

GIANTS 27, REDSKINS 23

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Eli Manning threw a 77-yard scoring pass to Victor Cruz with 1:13 to play and New York overcame a late touchdown by rookie sensation Robert Griffin III.

Manning's pass to Cruz came two plays and 19 seconds after Griffin capped what was a potential game-winning, 77-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss. The rookie had kept the drive alive with a 19-yard pass off a desperate scramble on a fourth-and-10 play deep in his own territory and a 24-yard run on the next play.

Cruz, however, blew by Josh Wilson and Madieu Williams and the more than 80,000 fans in MetLife Stadium celebrated as Manning triumphantly pumped his fist.

Griffin had Washington moving for another score when Moss was tackle by Chase Blackburn after an 11-yard reception and rookie Jayron Hosley recovered at the Washington 43.

PACKERS 30, RAMS 20

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Aaron Rodgers threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns and Green Bay's depleted defense flourished on the road.

Randall Cobb caught two touchdown passes and Jordy Nelson had eight receptions for a season-best 122 yards for the Packers (4-3), who brought a huge contingent of cheeseheads that was just as loud as the home fans and chanted ``Go, Pack, Go!'' during the Rams' final possession. Rookie Casey Hayward made his first start in place of injured Sam Shields and intercepted his fourth pass in three games.

Green Bay ended the Texans' unbeaten start at Houston last week, but had alternated losses and wins the first six weeks. Rodgers was 30 for 37 for his fourth 300-yard game this season.

SAINTS 35, BUCCANEERS 28

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Jonathan Vilma played for the first time while appealing a season-long suspension for his role in the Saints bounty program and Drew Brees threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns in the come-from-behind win.

While it's debatable how much Vilma's return impacted the Saints defense, the unit turned back two drives near the end zone in the second half, including the final three plays of the game to preserve New Orleans' second straight win.

Brees extended his NFL record for consecutive games with at least one TD pass to 49, while leading long scoring drives on four straight possessions to turn a 14-point deficit into a 28-21 halftime lead.

Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns for the Bucs. His bid to force overtime ended with three straight incompletions from inside the Saints' 10.

PATRIOTS 29, JETS 26 OT

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Rob Ninkovich recovered a fumble by Mark Sanchez after Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 48-yard field goal in overtime for New England.

The Patriots (4-3) moved into sole possession of first place in the AFC East. The day started with all four teams tied at 3-3, but the Jets (3-4) and the Buffalo Bills lost, while the Miami Dolphins were idle.

Gostkowski tied the game with a 43-yard field goal on the last play of regulation.

In overtime, each team gets the ball unless the first team with it scores a touchdown. So the Jets had a chance after the Patriots kicked a field goal. New York moved from its 15 to its 40 before Sanchez lost the ball as he was being sacked and Ninkovich recovered, ending the game.

RAIDERS 26, JAGUARS 23 OT

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 40-yard field goal after Cecil Shorts III fumbled on the opening possession of overtime and Oakland rallied from 14 points down in the second half.

Carson Palmer threw one TD pass and ran for another to force overtime for the Raiders (2-4) before they won it after Lamarr Houston forced a fumble that Joselio Hanson recovered at the Jacksonville 21.

After one play to center the ball, Janikowski came on to kick the winning field goal to end a rough day for the Jaguars (1-5).

The Jaguars lost star running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a left foot injury on the opening drive and quarterback Blaine Gabbert to an injured left shoulder in the second quarter and managed only two downs after halftime behind backup quarterback Chad Henne.

COLTS 17, BROWNS 13

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Andrew Luck became the first Colts quarterback to run for two touchdowns in a game since 1988.

Indy (3-3) has already won one more game than it did in 2011.

Brandon Weeden threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, but Trent Richardson, who tried to play through a rib cartilage injury, sat out the second half after running eight times for 8 yards in the first half. The Browns (1-6) have lost 11 straight road games.

Luck scored on runs of 3 and 5 yards in the first half.

Weeden threw a 14-yard TD pass to Greg Little in the second quarter, and a 33-yard TD pass to Josh Gordon in the third quarter.

COWBOYS 19, PANTHERS 14

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Dan Bailey made a go-ahead 28-yard field goal with 3:25 remaining to help Dallas end a two-game losing streak.

With Dallas trailing 14-13, Tony Romo led the Cowboys (3-3) into field goal range with a 10-play, 44-yard drive to send Dallas to its ninth consecutive regular-season victory over the Panthers (1-5).

Romo had 227 yards and a touchdown.

On a fourth-and-1 at their 39, the Panthers caught Dallas' defense changing personnel and Cam Newton quickly completed a pass for an apparent first down. But officials ruled the Cowboys called timeout before the snap. On the ensuing play, Morris Claiborne collided with receiver Louis Murphy before the ball arrived, but no flag was thrown.

Bailey added his fourth field goal of the game with 53 seconds left.

TITANS 35, BILLS 24

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Matt Hasselbeck hit Nate Washington for a 15-yard touchdown with 1:03 left in leading Tennessee.

It was Hasselbeck's 22nd career fourth-quarter comeback and second in consecutive weeks. It happened in a game in which running back Chris Johnson enjoyed a long awaited breakout performance with 195 yards rushing and two scores.

Jamie Harper also scored twice for Tennessee (3-4). Jason McCourty's interception of a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass set up the decisive drive.

Fitzpatrick finished 27 of 35 for 225 yards and three scores, but turned the ball over twice, including a lost fumble. Buffalo is 3-4.

VIKINGS 21, CARDINALS 14

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Adrian Peterson ran for 153 yards and a first-quarter touchdown, and Minnesota survived an ugly second half to hang on for the win.

Percy Harvin caught Christian Ponder's only touchdown pass, but Ponder threw an interception that led to a second-quarter touchdown run by LaRod Stephens-Howling. Ponder has seven turnovers in the last three games; two of them were turned into touchdowns last week at Washington.

Arizona's John Skelton went 25 for 36 for 262 yards and two turnovers. Rookie Harrison Smith returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown in the first minute of the second half, giving the Vikings enough of a cushion to withstand the offensive woes down the stretch.

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Baltimore Ravens 2018 Training Camp preview

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Baltimore Ravens 2018 Training Camp preview

The Ravens’ 2018 season is one of the most anticipated seasons in the last decade. 

From the coaching staff to the quarterback, the future of the franchise will be determined over 16 weeks. The work, however, beings now. 

The Ravens’ first training camp practice kicks off Thursday and there is a lot to keep a close eye on. Let's take a look at the many talking points of the 2018 preseason.

The Great Quarterback Debate:

Unless you’ve been in hiding since the NFL Draft, you know what all the hoopla is about. Joe Flacco remains the Ravens’ starter, but the competition at QB1 just got a little more interesting. The addition of Lamar Jackson has hopefully ignited a fire under Flacco and Jackson will get a year to learn under the 11-year veteran. If the season starts to go south early on, Jackson could come in as their starter and begin his role as the team’s next franchise quarterback. 

A lot could happen at the quarterback position over the next year, but one thing that is certain is all eyes will be on Lamar Jackson when he hits the field at training camp. You can't deny your intrigue. The Heisman winner had success both in the air and on the ground over his three years at Louisville, racking up record-breaking numbers. How the Ravens utilize Jackson will be interesting. Coach Harbaugh has already stated he will be active on game days and that they're experimenting with having Jackson and Flacco on the field at the same time. 

Oh, and then there's Robert Griffin III. We think you might know who he is.

The Ravens signed him to a one-year deal back at the beginning of April, but now with the addition of Lamar Jackson, another big training camp question arises. Do the Ravens keep a third QB on their active roster or do they send him on his way? RGIII has mentioned he's looking forward to mentoring the fellow Heisman Trophy winner in his first year in the league, but how much of that he'll get to do remains unseen.

A New Core Of Offensive Weapons: 

Flacco's declining numbers cannot be placed entirely on his shoulders. His options at wide receiver and tight end have been limited, but Ozzie Newsome – in his last year as general manager – made sure that would no longer be an issue.

Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John 'Smokey' Brown became Ravens in free agency and Breshad Perriman will fight for his final chance with the team after they declined the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. There is also 2018 draft picks Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley and undrafted free agents Jaelon Acklin and Andrew Levrone. Veteran Chris Moore and Quincy Adeboyejo will also be competing. Flacco mentioned during OTAs that he would be rounding up his receivers outside of practice to build chemistry. Come Thursday, we will see if the sparks have begun to fly.

The tight end depth chart will be looking very different for the Ravens as well this season. There was, of course, the additions of Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews – a pair of Top 100 picks – in the draft and undrafted free agent Nick Keizer. Veterans Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams are returning, but who will be their starter Week 1 will be interesting to watch. Boyle was on the field for 66 percent of the Ravens' offensive snaps in 2017, but injuries have hindered both Boyle and Williams. Williams missed 12 games in 2016 with a knee tear and five games in 2017 with an ankle sprain. Where he sits on the depth chart will rely heavily on how healthy he remains during an extended training camp. 

Critical Year for the Coaching Staff:

The 2018 season is the most critical one of John Harbaugh's 10-year tenure. As you've read many times this offseason, the Ravens haven't seen the postseason since 2015. And if that trend continues into the 2018 season, big changes to the offensive playcallers should be imminent. 

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference in February, owner Steve Bisciotti was questioned as to why no coaching changes – from head coach to offensive coordinator – were made after the Ravens' offense clearly had trouble getting things going all season long.

"I’m not going to give a ‘playoff or bust’ edict to you all, or to my coach," Bisciotti said.

"He’s under as much pressure, probably, than he’s ever been in his life, and I expect him to keep his chin up and take his positivity and his talents and make the most of this season. I may as well replace him now if I’m going to tell him, ‘Make the playoffs or you’re out of town next year.’ That’s just not the way to run a business.”

That mindset is understandable. Bisciotti noted Flacco has been through four offensive coordinators in five years and was comfortable with OC Marty Mornhinweg. Harbaugh's contract was extended through 2019, but if the season doesn't pan out as expected, the offensive could have a very different look in 2019. 

A Fast and Furious Defense:

Linebackers coach, Don 'Wink' Martindale was promoted to defensive coordinator after Dean Pees' departure. Harbaugh hired within the organization to keep the defensive vision cohesive, but Martindale is bringing something different to the table. 

"He's just putting his personal fix on our defense and expanding it, giving the guys confidence to play fast," safety Eric Weddle said in a recent interview. "The idea is to do what's best for the defense, not what's best the individual."

It appears this year's defense will rely heavily on the instincts of its star players like Pro Bowlers Weddle, Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley. The defense has never had an issue being dominate, but you may be seeing a more creative defense come game days with players given the freedom to make decisions in real time. How well it works will be exciting to see. 

Other Notes: 

The Ravens placed six players, G Marshal Yanda, TE Vince Mayle, DE Brent Urban, CB Jaylen Hill, LB Bam Bradley and WR Quincy Adeboyejo on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to begin training camp. Yanda missed 14 games last season after suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Placing him on the PUP list to begin training camp is most likely out of precaution. He did not participate in any offseason workouts. 

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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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