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Ravens owner challenges Joe Flacco to do more in 2017

Ravens owner challenges Joe Flacco to do more in 2017

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti challenged quarterback Joe Flacco to play better than he did in 2016, citing the quarterback’s performance as a major X-factor in the team’s future fortunes.

“I certainly don’t think we saw the Joe Flacco he’s capable of being,” Bisciotti said at his annual “State of the Ravens” press conference, also attended by general manager Ozzie Newsome, coach John Harbaugh, and team president Dick Cass. “We’ve seen a better Joe Flacco in the past.

“I’m pretty optimistic that Joe is going to be better next year than he was. That, to me, is the biggie on the offensive side of the ball. We need to get more out of Joe. I’m sure Joe would agree with me, and Joe’s committed to making that happen.”

Flacco was coming off a season-ending knee injury in 2015, and finished with 20 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions, and an 83.5 quarterback rating.

The Ravens are wed to Flacco for the foreseeable future, thanks to a three-year, $66.4 million contract extension in 2016 that keeps him under contract through 2021.

As Flacco goes, so goes the Ravens offense.

Therefore, much of what the Ravens do this offseason, including the decision to retain offensive coordinator Marty Morhinweg, will be targeted toward giving Flacco what he wants, and what he needs, to succeed.

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Impossibly, the Orioles have lost a game more recently than the Ravens

Impossibly, the Orioles have lost a game more recently than the Ravens

Hard to believe, right?

Somehow, some way, the Baltimore Orioles have lost a game more recently than their football neighbors.

As a reminder, the Orioles season ended on *September 29*. They lost their regular season finale to the Red Sox that afternoon.

The Ravens’ last loss also came on September 29, though it came earlier in the afternoon.

It’s hard to fathom an NFL team winning for two-and-a-half straight months. 10 consecutive wins in that span is in the top-60 longest winnings streaks in NFL history, a sign of just how rare and impressive this Ravens stretch has been. 

It won’t be easy for Baltimore to maintain their play all the way through to the Super Bowl. If they do, however, they’ll have a chance to go almost an entire calendar year until their next loss.

Unfortunately, there will probably be a whole lot more Orioles losses in that span.

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Why a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore makes sense and what could prevent it from happening

Why a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore makes sense and what could prevent it from happening

The Cardinals made a splash on Friday by waiving outside linebacker Terrell Suggs after just 13 games played in his Arizona career. 

The 37-year-old is now on waivers until Monday, where he’ll wait to see if he was claimed by one of the 31 other teams. Should he go unclaimed, he’ll be a free agent. 

Naturally, the immediate inclination was to assume a reunion was destined to happen between Suggs and the Ravens. Suggs is the all-time franchise leader in sacks (132.5) and games played (229), too.

But a reunion is more complicated than it might seem on the surface. 

This year, Suggs has 5.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits and 23 tackles. On the Ravens, those numbers would rank second, tied for third and 15th. But Suggs hasn’t registered a full sack since Oct. 20 and didn’t register a statistic in the team’s last game against the Steelers. 

Even still, with the need for proven pass-rushers across the league, Suggs is a desirable addition to any team looking to make a run.

Baltimore ranks 15th in sacks with 34, even with having played one more game than 30 other teams. The need is there for Suggs, who has already returned to the Ravens as a member of a different organization.

“It wasn’t circled, but when the schedule came out, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to downplay it as just another game,’” Suggs said in September. “But we all know that’d be (expletive). It’s kind of a unique situation, isn’t it?”

Suggs has shown the ability this season to be, at the very least, a situational pass-rusher and one that can contribute through the end of the season. Which, as the season winds down, makes his services valuable to teams looking to make a playoff push. 

He’ll be cheap too, as he wouldn’t cost a ton of money against the cap — and would fit into the Ravens plans moving forward. 

The problem, however, is where the Ravens are in the waiver wire order — dead last.

Teams like the Seahawks and Texans, whose pass rush ranks worse than the Ravens at the moment, and the 49ers, who just lost Dee Ford for a month, all could use pass-rushers to bolster their front seven.

That doesn’t include the possibility of a team in the AFC adding Suggs for two reasons: To add to their pass rush, while keeping Suggs away from Baltimore. 

Preventing the AFC’s top team from acquiring a late-season pass-rusher, one that would provide a significant boost to the organization, might be tempting as well. 

But for storylines, need on the field and fit with the organization, Suggs is a match to return to Baltimore.

It seems clear that Suggs and the Ravens would’ve preferred to be married to one another for the duration of Suggs’ career, and now there’s a chance to bring him back on board for another run at a title. 

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