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Grading the Ravens defense, special teams vs. the Eagles

Grading the Ravens defense, special teams vs. the Eagles

The Ravens, it would appear, remain allergic to having anything come easy.

The Ravens had the ball at the Eagles 11-yard line with a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, and yet somehow still had to stop a two-point conversion try with four seconds left to hold on for a 27-26 win and keep their tenuous playoff hopes alive.

Nothing about that fourth quarter was pretty, and neither are the report cards.

We've already graded the offense, and now it's time to hand out report cards to the defense and special teams:

DEFENSIVE LINE: D

The Ravens expected the run, prepared for the run, and then were simply manhandled up front.

Eagles running back Ryan Mathews totaled 128 yards on 20 carries and the Eagles overall piled up 169 rushing yards.

Brandon Williams finished with six tackles. Timmy Jernigan had none for the second straight game, despite playing 49 snaps.

Time-consuming drives seemed to wear down the Ravens defensive front.

LINEBACKER: C-

Terrell Suggs had three tackles for loss and set the edge well, as did Albert McClellan a few times. Elvis Dumervil had the team's only sack.

But like the Ravens defensive front, the inside linebackers were too often pushed aside, leaving gaping running lanes.

C.J. Mosley led the way with 13 tackles and had the huge deflection on the final two-point try.  

Zach Orr had a tough day. He left briefly with a stinger, but missed some tackles and was flagged for penalties on consecutive plays. He finished with just two tackles and didn't appear to be 100 percent. Orr, though, did come up with the interception that set up the Ravens first touchdown.

READ MORE: Raven's wish list

SECONDARY: B

Despite missing Jimmy Smith, the Ravens held the Eagles to 170 passing yards, and no wide receiver had more than 27.

Shareece Wright did a solid job, with good coverage on a couple of deep routes that Carson Wentz looked off of.

Tavon Young made a nice end zone breakup but then was called for a big pass interference penalty in the final minute.

Lardarius Webb had six tackles. He remains a solid run defender and is improving as a free safety.

Jerraud Powers, who had five tackles, had solid coverage on the final two-point try.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B

Driving the ball through wind and rain, Justin Tucker drilled his 10th 50-plus field goal of the season, tying an NFL single-season record. He's now 10-for-10 from 50-plus this season. Tucker also nailed a 47-yarder into a tricky wind.

Chris Moore showed some promise as a kick returner in the wake of Devin Hester's release. Moore averaged 24.5 yards on four returns, with a long of 34, but he has to hold the ball more securely as he runs. He fumbled one return and was fortunate that teammate Marqueston Huff fell on it.

Michael Campanaro made his debut as the punt returner but fair caught his only chance.

Sam Koch had a 60-yard punt, but had a touchback from the Eagles 39-yard line, and the Eagles had a 22-yard punt return.

RELATED: Justin Tucker becomes NFL's all-time FG leader

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Ravens make stadium lights red, white and blue to honor front-line workers

Ravens make stadium lights red, white and blue to honor front-line workers

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Ravens shifted from their signature purple stadium lights to show the front-line workers how much they appreciate what they're doing.

The incredible gesture is just one of many by the organization.

The Ravens and The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation combined to support four non-profits and have donated $1 million to help aid the fight against coronavirus, the team revealed in a statement on March 20. 

The four organizations are the Fund for Educational Excellence, the United Way of Central Maryland, the Baltimore Community Foundation and the Maryland Food Bank.

"We want to help those in our community who are most affected by the COVID-19 crisis," Ravens president Dick Cass said, according to a statement through the team. "We chose to donate through these four organizations because we are confident they will apply our funds quickly and directly to people in need.”

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Derek Wolfe always wanted to be a Raven — now he gets his chance

Derek Wolfe always wanted to be a Raven — now he gets his chance

New Ravens defensive lineman Derek Wolfe has wanted to be a Raven at three separate times during his career. 

The first time was before he was drafted in 2012 when he thought the Ravens might pick him. The second time was before the trade deadline in the 2019 season, when he debated asking Broncos general manager John Elway for a trade to Baltimore. 

The third time was the charm. After the Ravens’ signing of Michael Brockers fell through, they moved quickly to sign Wolfe to a one-year contract. 

“I'm extremely happy,” Wolfe said. “Everything happens for a reason. When things are supposed to happen, they do, and I always felt like I would fit into that organization really well.”

Wolfe thought he’d missed his chance to be a Raven when the signing of Brocks was announced at the beginning of free agency. After the deal wasn’t completed, though, he and his agent moved quickly to get him to Baltimore. 

Once a deal looked possible with the Ravens, Wolfe’s only focus was to get to Baltimore by any means necessary.

“I said, ‘I really don't care about the money,’” Wolfe said he told his agent. “‘At this point, I just want to get on that team. That's the team I want to get on, I want to be on.’

Wolfe’s contract is worth $3 million guaranteed, though he’s eying a bit longer of a stay in Baltimore.

“I feel like if I can come in there and prove myself, then they'll extend me for a few years, and I could be a part of the organization for more than just one year,” Wolfe said. “I'm just going to stick to the plan and trust the process and hope that it all works out for me,” Wolfe said. “I really would love to bring another ring to the city – help bring a ring to the city.”

He’s coming off a career season in Denver where he registered seven sacks in 12 games — a year that was cut short because of a dislocated elbow. 

Injuries have been a bit of a bugaboo for Wolfe, who has played 16 games in a season just three times in his eight-year career and just once in the last five years. While the past isn’t kind to Wolfe’s injury history, he’s confident he’s turned a corner when it comes to health. 

“It's been a bumpy road, but for the most part I've actually been pretty healthy,” Wolfe explained. “These injuries just come...It was the same injury that was nagging, and I finally got that surgery that cleared it up. I dislocated my elbow, obviously, having the best season of my career, showing that I have a ton of football left, and then I go out there and dislocate my elbow. And I think that hurt me.”

Not only confident about his health, but he’s also got high hopes for his new defensive line, too. 

“It was just like, ‘You know what, man? I think we can have the best defensive line in the league, for sure, and we could break records,” Wolfe said. “We could break the rushing record – yards per rush, stuff like that.’ Those are the kind of goals that I like to set.”

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