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The view from New England

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The view from New England

The game wasinterminable, with flags thrown on seemingly every play. Players on both sidesgrew increasingly frustrated, as did the fans -- very loudly, and very clearly -- over the work of the NFL'sreplacement officials. In the wake of the Ravens' emotional, last-second, 31-30win over the Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday night, much of the talkpredictably centered around the officiating.
But thosecovering the game from New England saved some venom for the Patriots defense,which was carved up by Joe Flacco and the Ravens.Here's the takeon the game from some Patriots media:
Tom E. Curran,CSN New England:"Theres alot of justifiable moaning over the horrific job (the officials) did during theRavens' 31-30 win over the Patriots. But not one of them are to blame for thePatriots being 1-2 on this Monday morning.None of them weretrying in vain to cover Jacoby Jones on a 24-yard completion up the sidelinefrom Joe Flacco with 1:55 left in the game. None of them were beaten badly offthe line by Jones on a third-and-9 play from the Patriots 34 with 52 secondsleft beaten so badly they had to tackle Jones and draw a pass interferencethat set up the game-winning field goal.None of themdropped an interception in the first half. None of them dropped an interceptionin the second half.
None of themmissed while reaching for Dennis Pitta en route to Pitta's 20-yard touchdownlate in the first half.Who did all that?Devin McCourty. Usually you have to order a six-pack of goat horns after a lossbecause in an NFL game theres a lot of blame to be spread around andtheres rarely one culprit.Not this time.McCourty implodedSunday night on national television. He was the weak link that Flacco and theRavens attacked in the Patriots secondary time after time after time."Jim Donaldson,Providence Journal"When thegame was over, Bill Belichick did to an official what his defensive players didthroughout the game to Ravens receivers.He grabbed him.Bulletin to Bill,the Defensive Genius: The officiating was nowhere near as inconsistent, nor asbad, as your defense. ...
Of course, itwasn't just in the final minutes Sunday night that the Ravens racked upyardage. It was pretty much the whole game. Or at least the final threequarters, in which the Ravens had touchdown drives of 82, 92, 80, and 92 yards ..."WhateverPatriots fans thought of the officiating Sunday night, the zebras did a betterjob than the New England defense."
Michael Whitmer,Boston Globe"When thesun came up on Sunday, (Torrey) Smith was sequestered with his family, in shockat the familys tragedy, his availability for the game understandably unknown.When the sun went down, under the bright lights, encouraged and supported byhis extended family, Smith was arguably the games difference-maker."
Chad Finn,Boston.com"We shouldsympathize with the refs to some degree. They've been put into a position to doa job for which they are unqualified and incapable. ... "The disjointed and inept officiating is altering the game in ways that cannotbe predicted. You simply hope they get it wrong in the favor of the team forwhich you're rooting. To put it another way: there were 24 penalties called for218 yards, with 11 accounting for a first down ... and yet for all of theyellow flags, they had absolutely no control over the behavior of the players.Logan Mankins and Haloti Ngata are probably still standing at midfield takingturns headbutting each other as we speak. The rest of us,we're left banging our heads, waiting for the officials and the integrity ofthe game to return."
Greg Bedard,Boston Globe(Patriotsoffensive coordintor Josh) McDaniels devised a very smart game plan. Go fast.Go small. Let Brady be Brady. And run the older, slower Ravens all over theturf.Give McDanielscredit. His game plan was a big reason why the Patriots held a 30-21 lead thatlooked like it would hold up. But for thesecond straight week, McDaniels got in his own way and helped contribute to asecond straight loss. ...
McDanielsoverthought things for the second straight week. In the loss to the Cardinals,he called for a halfback throwback to the quarterback that lost 9 yards onthird and 6. On Sunday night,McDaniels decided a second-and-6 play at the Baltimore 49-yard line with 7:48left in the second quarter was the perfect time to call a direct snap to DannyWoodhead, who tossed a reverse to receiverMcDaniels obsession Julian Edelman.The play didnt fool anyone, and the 13-yard loss led to a Patriots punt.The Ravens scoredon the ensuing possession to take a 14-13 lead." Dan Shaughnessy,Boston Globe"After a night ofincompetent officiating capped by perhaps one final bad call by replacementreferees Belichick reached out and grabbed at one of the officials aseveryone was coming off the field in the postgame chaos at M & T Stadium.This is not likely to be viewed favorably by a commissioner who asked everybodyto make nice with the substitute zebras....There wasobvious irony at the finish. The Ravens sent the Patriots to the Super Bowleight months ago when Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal attempt.Cundiff is now with the Redskins and rookie Tucker is kicking for the Ravens.Tucker did not miss. At least, the refs said he didnt miss.... The situationwith the NFLs replacement officials has moved past the tipping point. As LarryLucchino would say, its time to bring back the varsity.

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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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