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Texans reportedly pick ex-Brown Hoyer as starting QB

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Texans reportedly pick ex-Brown Hoyer as starting QB

It appears former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer made the right choice when he signed with the Houston Texans this offseason. The Texans have named Hoyer their starter, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports.

Hoyer hasn’t overwhelmed anyone with his preseason — he’s gone 9 for 15 passing for 119 yards — but neither has his competition, Ryan Mallett. Though Mallett has completed 15 of 18 attempts, he’s totaled just 113 yards.

NFL.com’s Kevin Patra calls Hoyer “the safe choice.”

“The starting gig always felt like Hoyer's to lose throughout the offseason,” he writes. “The Texans gave Hoyer the bigger contract in the offseason, and he outplayed Mallett at every turn.”

When he was at his best with the Browns, Hoyer showed he could direct an offense with a minimum of mistakes. But forced to do more in the second half of the season, Hoyer threw nine interceptions and two touchdowns in games 10 through 14.

The Texans will be without injured Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster, maybe for half of the season. That would mean Hoyer has to pick up the slack. So we’re left to wonder how long Hoyer will be able to hold on to the starting job.

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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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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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