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Thomas keeps rushers at arm's length


Thomas keeps rushers at arm's length

With a left tackle such as Joe Thomas, it's no wonder Brandon Weeden has time to go through his progressions and pick apart secondaries.

Thomas' primary job is to keep the Cleveland Browns' rookie quarterback from getting his uniform dirty. He's 6-foot-6, in his sixth season and already being talked about as possibly the NFL's best at his position.

“He gets voted to the Pro Bowl every year, so that’s pretty much an indication of what the players, coaches and everybody thinks of him," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He’s a premier left tackle. He’s one of the best. … I don’t know that there’s a better tackle in football."

The only players to be named to the Pro Bowl in each of their first five seasons are in the Hall of Fame: N.Y. Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor and late Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas.

"To be able to be mentioned with those two guys is pretty spectacular and it’s really humbling," Thomas said. "When I came into the NFL, I said I wanted to go to the Hall of Fame. That was my long-term goal. I had a lot of short-term goals along the way, and one of them was making the Pro Bowl.

"I’ve been blessed and been lucky enough to make the Pro Bowl and be able to start there in my first five seasons. I am just trying to do everything I can to help my team win and try to get back to the Pro Bowl and hopefully get this team into the playoffs, because it would be nice to taste that for once.”

Part of what makes Thomas so difficult is his length. The Ravens only got one sack of Weeden during their first meeting with the Browns on Sept. 27 while their quarterback, Joe Flacco, was dropped four times.

The Ravens still won 23-16, but they will travel to Cleveland on Sunday at less than 100% on defense. Their front seven has had difficulty getting push at the line of scrimmage to get pressure on quarterbacks even when everyone was healthy. Now starting defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has been limited by a shoulder injury and defensive end Pernell McPhee hasn't practiced all week because of a thigh injury.

"It's a big advantage to be a tall tackle in this league with long arms. That’s what NFL scouts are always looking for," Thomas said. "Being able to get your hands on a guy and being able to use a little bit of a length and keep that separation between you and the defensive line is important, because what they want to do is get in close to you, and they can use all their moves and try to get around you.

"But, if you are keeping that space between you and them, it really limits their ability to get into your body and to use their pass-rush moves and get their hands on you and try to beat you to the quarterback.”

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season


Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward.