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Winning AFC North early could give Harbaugh tough choices

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Winning AFC North early could give Harbaugh tough choices

The Ravens could lock up the AFC North Sunday with a win over Pittsburgh and a Cincinnati loss to the Chargers. Even if that happens and the Ravens lose their final four games, they'd finish 10-6 and if the Bengals win their final four, they'd do the same, but Baltimore would get the tiebreaker with a better AFC North record.

However, if the Ravens clinch so early, it brings up a few interesting questions for coach John Harbaugh and his staff. The biggest question is a very simple one-- who plays and who sits. That's probably something determined by where the Ravens are in the overall AFC playoff race.

The Colts went through this a few years ago, taking their foot off the gas late in the season and resting some players after they had everything locked up, and that seemed to hurt them as they didn't look as sharp in the playoffs. 

But the Ravens aren't in the same spot. In fact, they would still be in a battle with the Houston Texans for the No. 1 seed and with New England and Denver for the other top spots. The Ravens have an edge since they already beat the Patriots. They'll also play Denver later on.

As long as the Ravens still have a shot at the No. 1 seed -- something that gets tougher each week since the Texans already beat them and finishing in a tie won't help much -- they'll keep rolling. 

Same with the New England/Denver situation. The Ravens would love to get into the spot they were in last year, getting a first-round bye and earning an AFC semifinal game at home. That would mean they wouldn't have to get on the road until the AFC final and since the Ravens play so well at home, this could be a big plus. 

That's why the AFC North title won't have as much of an effect on the Ravens unless they lock up something bigger. 

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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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