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Is Weeden the next Flacco ... or Boller?

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Is Weeden the next Flacco ... or Boller?

Much like the Ravens five years ago, the Browns handed the keys of their offense to a rookie quarterback drafted in the first round.

Unfortunately for the Browns, at this point that rookie quarterback, Brandon Weeden, looks a lot less like Joe Flacco and a lot more like a different Ravens first-round quarterback: Kyle Boller.

To be fair, Flacco didn't set the world on fire immediately. In Flacco's first five games, he threw one touchdown and seven interceptions, but by season's end, he (and the defense) had led the Ravens to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth.

After the Ravens' 25-15 win at Cleveland on Sunday, Weeden still looks to be a long way from a playoff quarterback. He certainly isn't helped by his supporting cast; his receivers frequently drop catchable balls. They run third-down pass patterns that leave them a couple of yards short of the first down.

The coaching staff doesn't help with its decision-making at times, either. On the Browns' first possession, Trent Richardson barged ahead for 9 yards on second down, and then facing third-and-1, rather than run Richardson for the first down, the Browns called a pass play, which Weeden threw incomplete.

No decision, though, was more questionable than the fourth-and-2 call from Cleveland's 28-yard line with 3:53 left in the game. The Ravens had  trouble making first downs much of the game, but rather than punt and make the Ravens get another first down or two, the Browns went for the first down. Weeden threw high on a quick slant that never had a chance.

It was one of many poor throws or misreads by Weeden. He had nervous feet, bailing out with inaccurate dump-offs at times or throws behind receivers. At times he failed to see open receivers, and at other times he made poor, back-foot throws. On the pass that Cary Williams intercepted -- which came one play after Ed Reed should have had an interception -- tight end Jordan Cameron had no idea the ball was coming.

Maybe these are growing pains for a rookie quarterback. The Browns have done a lot right in the draft lately and have some impressive young players. But Weeden isn't young. He is a 29-year-old rookie whose college (and pro) career started late because of a minor league baseball career.

The Browns are hoping he can be the one to lead this franchise out of the depths of the AFC North. But on Sunday, he looked a lot more like Kyle Boller than Joe Flacco, and that isn't exactly the Ravens quarterback to emulate.

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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. 

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