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Five instant observations from Ravens' close win over Eagles

Five instant observations from Ravens' close win over Eagles

BALTIMORE – Five things we learned watching the Ravens hang on, defeating the Eagles, 27-26. With the victory, the Ravens (8-6) still control their playoff destiny, heading into a Christmas showdown in Pittsburgh against the Steelers:

1. The Ravens walked a tightrope, and almost fell off.

A loss would have been devastating to the Ravens’ playoff hopes, and it almost happened.  Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz scrambled for a four-yard TD with four seconds to play, and the Eagles decided to go for two points and the win. Wentz’s two-point conversion slant pass was incomplete, and the Ravens escaped. But they almost lost a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, against an Eagles team (5-90 that is going nowhere. Not impressive.

2. The Ravens’ distaste for running the football is baffling.

Joe Flacco threw a terrible  fourth-quarter interception, but offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg made a terrible play call. The Ravens were leading, 27-17, and had moved to the Eagles’ 11-yard line with 6:21 left in the game. Why not run the football, burn the clock, and at worst attempt a field goal. Instead, Flacco dropped back to pass, looked like he never Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks, and threw the ball into Hicks’ hands. Instead of getting a touchdown or a field goal, the Ravens got nothing out of the drive, and had to hold on for victory. When Marc Trestman was fired as offensive coordinator, the Ravens were supposed to make a stronger commitment to the run. It hasn’t happened.

3. The Christmas Day showdown in Pittsburgh will be must-see TV.

The Ravens are still in control of their playoff destiny, and Steelers (9--5) vs. Ravens will be like a playoff game. The winner will control the AFC North lead heading into the final week of the season. Open your presents early. You won’t want to miss it. The 

4. The Ravens’ run defense got a wakeup call.

The Eagles gashed the Ravens with successful running plays and time-consuming drives, and running back Ryan Mathews (20 carries, 128 yards) was the biggest beneficiary. If the Ravens had this much trouble stopping Mathews, how will they deal with Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell on Christmas?

5. Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. made another huge play.

With the Ravens trailing 14-13 late in the first half, Smith streaked down the right sideline and took a perfect lead pass from Joe Flacco for a 34-yard TD. The reception moved Smith into seventh place on the NFL’s all-time list for receiving yards. The touchdown also put the Ravens ahead for good. Smith says his ankle is fully healed and that he feels healthy. It shows, and they will need more big plays from him in Pittsburgh. 

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Congratulations pour in for Robert Griffin III after re-signing with Ravens

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Congratulations pour in for Robert Griffin III after re-signing with Ravens

You've made it to Friday and the Baltimore Ravens secured their backup quarterback. What more could we ask for?

Here's the latest news surrounding the Ravens.

Player Notes: 

The Ravens and QB Robert Griffin III agreed in principle to a two-year deal Thursday. A solid option behind Lamar Jackson, players around the league are happy to see the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year remain in the NFL.

The Ravens' newest member of their special teams unit, Justin Bethel, doesn't just have skills on the field but off the field as well. Bethel and his brothers have their own jazz band called House of Bethel, where the Raven plays the drums. In the music video for their single called, "The New Boss," Bethel has nearly a minute long drum solo

ESPN's Mel Kiper re-graded the Ravens' 2018 draft class, bringing them from a B-plus to an A-minus. One of the more stronger classes in recent history, the additions of Jackson, Mark Andrews, Hayden Hurst and Orlando Brown Jr. served the Ravens well in 2018. 

Is Action Jackson a hockey guy? The Ravens QB was spotted Thursday night at an Arizona Coyotes game. 

Looking Ahead: 

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Az.

April 15: Voluntary OTA's may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

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Baltimore Ravens re-sign Robert Griffin III to 2-year deal

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Baltimore Ravens re-sign Robert Griffin III to 2-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have found their backup to Lamar Jackson. The team announced Thursday they are planning on re-signing Robert Griffin III to a two-year contract pending a physical. 

Griffin III made his return to the NFL in 2018 when Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens surprisingly signed the QB to a one-year, $1 million deal.

Behind Joe Flacco and Jackson, the Ravens chose to keep three QBs on their 53-man roster in case something were to happen to Flacco and Jackson hadn't fully developed to their liking. One of those fears did come true and Griffin III provided the Ravens with a valuable insurance policy.

The 29-year-old appeared in three games for the Ravens, completing 2-of-6 passes for 21 yards. 

With Flacco now the starting QB for the Broncos and the Ravens viewing Jackson as their long-term signal caller, re-signing Griffin III as their No. 2 makes a ton of sense for both the QB and the Ravens. 

"I feel like I have a good grasp of what this team is trying to do," Griffin III said back in January. "I would love to help Lamar [Jackson] continue to develop and also be available and ready to play."

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