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Upon further review ...Revisiting our 10 predictions

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Upon further review ...Revisiting our 10 predictions

It's time again to go under the replay hood and review our 10 predictions for the Ravens-Browns game:

1. The Ravens will score a first-quarter touchdown.

CORRECT. For the first time since Week 2, the Ravens found the end zone in the first quarter. Establishing the run early, Ray Rice had six carries for 32 yards on the Ravens' opening drive, which ended with his 8-yard touchdown run. It was the Ravens' first opening-drive touchdown all season.

2. Ray Rice will have 20 carries.

CORRECT. As expected, the Ravens made Rice a bigger part of the offense than they had in quite some time. The Browns bottled him up for long stretches, but Rice finished with a season-high 25 carries for 98 yards and one touchdown.

3. Bernard Pierce will have at least six touches.

CORRECT. Spelling Rice at times, Pierce also established a season high with seven carries for 26 yards as the Ravens stayed true to the running game. Late in the first quarter, the rookie from Temple took a toss around left end and scored on a 12-yard run for his first touchdown as a pro.

4. Anquan Boldin will have at least four catches.

CORRECT. Boldin torched the Browns in the earlier meeting this season between the teams, with nine catches for 131 yards. He wasn't quite as prolific this time, with five catches for 57 yards, but he was a huge part of the win. On the Ravens' opening touchdown drive, Boldin had three catches for 30 yards. Then in the fourth quarter, after the Ravens offense had been in a deep freeze, Boldin caught a 21-yard pass for their first first down in more than a quarter.

5. Joe Flacco will throw fewer than 30 passes.

CORRECT. With the Ravens turning to Rice and Pierce out of the backfield, the passing game took a back seat. Flacco completed 15 of 24 passes for 153 yards and one touchdown, the nice 19-yard, fake inside, spin outside, beat them to the corner score by Torrey Smith. Flacco has never thrown 30 passes against the Browns, and his total of 24 passes Sunday was his lowest of the season.

6. Trent Richardson will rush for 100 yards.

CORRECT.  The Ravens run defense was much improved over the past few weeks, but Richardson still proved to be a handful, rushing 25 times for 102 yards. Overall, though, the Browns rushed for 116 yards, a dramatic improvement for a Ravens run defense that had yielded an average of 207 yards over the previous three games.

7. Terrell Suggs will have a sack.

INCORRECT. Coming off the bye week and seeing his second game action since his Achilles injury, Suggs did play but was fairly quiet, with four tackles and no sacks. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe recorded the Ravens' only sack of Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden.

8. Josh Gordon will have a catch of at least 25 yards.

CORRECT. The Browns rookie was open at times and Weeden didn't see him or didn't get him the ball, but Gordon did have one catch of 26 yards. He entered the game averaging an NFL-best 22.3 yards a catch, and finished with two catches for 38 yards.

9. The Ravens will win time of possession.

CORRECT. The defense finally got a breather this week after being on the field way too long the previous few games. Relying primarily on the running game, the Ravens had the ball for 31:32, marking the first time since the first Browns game in Week 4 that the Ravens won the time of possession battle.

10.Ravens 23, Browns 20

KIND OF CORRECT. The Ravens extended their streak to 10 straight wins over the Browns, and won their 15th straight game immediately after a loss, but as we predicted, it wasn't easy. The Browns were their own worst enemy at times, but credit the Ravens for stiffening in the red zone and keeping Cleveland out of the end zone. The Ravens' 25-15 win makes John Harbaugh 5-0 immediately after the bye.

 

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens rank higher than expected in preseason rankings

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens rank higher than expected in preseason rankings

Kick off your Wednesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including a high preseason ranking for the Ravens.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Ravens ranked higher than expected in Peter King's preseason rankings. King ranked the Ravens at No. 12, surprising for a defense that is working on development during this offseason. However, with the Ravens' signing of All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, maybe he will bring the fire the Ravens need on defense.

2. With day 2 of OTAs in the books, the focus has been on quarterback Lamar Jackson. Ravens writer, Kevin Eck noted that during the offseason, Jackson had been working out with Ravens quarterbacks coach, Joshua Harris along with receivers Jordan Lasley and Jaylen Smith, so it remains to be seen throughout the summer on whether or not he has improved namely his passing game. 

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

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: Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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Reaction: Peter King picks Ravens 12th in 2019 Power Rankings

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Reaction: Peter King picks Ravens 12th in 2019 Power Rankings

With OTAs underway, Peter King has released his 2019 NFL preseason power rankings and of the biggest surprises is the Baltimore Ravens landing at No. 12 on the list. Although stud Lamar Jackson surprised people last season, given the substandard state of their defense and the burden on Jackson to shoulder the load offensively, King may have the Ravens ranked a few spots too high. 

Let's start with the defense; it's got more holes than a slice of swiss cheese. Most notably they lost linebacker Terrell Suggs, the heart and soul of their defense for the past decade. Although past his prime, Suggs is still a productive player and they will undoubtedly miss his leadership. They released defensive back Eric Weddle, who was coming off two straight Pro-Bowl appearances. Their justification was that he's 34 and by releasing him, they could allocate the money to re-signing All-Pro linebacker C.J. Mosley. Solid reasoning, if Mosley didn't sign with the New York Jets in the offseason.

Credit must be given, however, to the four-year, $55 million contract given to former Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas. Coming off a broken leg, he is easily the biggest X-factor for this defense. If he produces like the Earl Thomas of old, it'll more than makeup for the loss of the Weddle. They'll also be getting back defensive tackle Willie Henry from injury, who's young and hungry.

Although last years' defense was one of, if not the top unit in the NFL, all anyone could manage to talk about was the dynamic offense led by rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. Coach John Harbaugh threw caution to the wind and handed the reins to Jackson in Week 10, and the Ravens proceeded to win six of their next seven games behind a run-dominated offense.

It's a toss-up if they'll be able to replicate that success this season. On the one hand, the unconventional attack took the league by storm last year and one could argue the league just needed time to adapt to this new-look offense. On the other hand, the Ravens did add some electric new pieces to the offense to replace the losses of wide receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown. 

They added Mark Ingram who is one of the best dual-threat running backs in the league when healthy. Their first-round pick, wide receiver Marquise Brown, is one of the fastest players Todd McShay has ever evaluated. Third-round pick wide receiver Miles Boykin was one of the 20 fastest players at the draft and fourth-round pick  Justice Hill registered the fastest 40 time for running backs at the combine. Adding young, electric talent will enhance Jackson's already stellar playmaking ability. 

At tight end, they're one of the deepest teams in the NFL, headed up by Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst. Keep in mind, however, that this is the NFL: it all starts with the quarterback. Jackson completed passes at a 58.2% clip last season. If the Ravens are serious about building around him, he'll have to improve as a passer. 

Taking the defensive deficiencies and questions on offense into account, and 12 is too high for the preseason power rankings; 16 is more appropriate. In his article, King writes about the Ravens saying, "They could win 11. They could win six." If I had to choose one outcome I'd take the latter. 

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