Ravens

Cruz visits home of Giants fan, 6, killed in Conn.

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Cruz visits home of Giants fan, 6, killed in Conn.

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz has visited the home of the 6-year-old Connecticut shooting victim who was buried in a replica Cruz jersey.

Jack Pinto was among 20 children shot to death Friday in Newtown. Several elementary school-age children played touch football in the front yard of his family's home Tuesday. Many wore Giants jerseys or Newtown football or wrestling shirts as they laughed, smiled and hugged.

The children and their families left after several hours. Kids carried autographed Giants footballs and jerseys.

About 45 minutes later, Cruz left the home in an SUV and an escort of five police cruisers, sirens blaring. He later tweeted that he has ``much love to the entire Pinto family. Great people with huge hearts.''

Several people leaving the home confirmed Cruz was there.

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Hayden Hurst receives a Madden speed rating bump after hitting 20mph in Week 14

Hayden Hurst receives a Madden speed rating bump after hitting 20mph in Week 14

Hayden Hurst wasn’t known as a speedster coming out of college. As an older-than-usual tight end, high-level speed wasn’t one of his bigger selling points as a prospect.

Don’t tell that to him, though.

On a 61-yard catch-and-run touchdown against the Bills in Week 14, Hurst reached a top speed of 20.5 mph, according to Next Gen Stats. That number is the highest reached by any Ravens offensive player this season.

That’s right. It’s not a typo. Faster than Lamar Jackson. Faster than Marquise Brown. 

So, of course, Hurst had to notify Madden, in case they felt the need to make any adjustments to his rating.

They did.

Hurst moved from a 83 speed rating to an 85. He’s still just 16th at his position, and behind many of his teammates. Jackson and Brown are in the mid-90s, and even fellow tight end Mark Andrews is still ahead of Hurst with an 86.

It’s nice to see Madden is willing to make changes when it’s deserved. Maybe a few more 60-yard touchdown receptions will help bump Hurst up to Andrews’ level.

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2019 NFL Playoff Picture: Who to root for in Week 15 if you are a Baltimore Ravens fan

2019 NFL Playoff Picture: Who to root for in Week 15 if you are a Baltimore Ravens fan

Beating the New York Jets in Week 15 put the Ravens in a favorable position for the final stretch of the NFL season. All the Baltimore Ravens need to do is win one of their final two games (at Browns and vs. Steelers) to clinch home field in the AFC. 

After Thursday night's contest to kick off the week, Baltimore remains at the top of the AFC playoff picture at 12-2. The AFC North is locked up, guaranteeing at least one home game. At worst they will finish with the No. 3 seed in the conference. 

Only two other teams can challenge Baltimore for the AFC's top spot: the New England Patriots (10-3) who the Ravens bested in Week 9, and the Kansas City Chiefs (9-4) who own the tiebreaker over Baltimore.

If both those teams happen to lose in Week 15, Baltimore can wrap up the coveted No. 1 seed by Sunday night. 

If one of those teams lose, then Baltimore will clinch a first-round bye. 

So this week is pretty simple for Ravens fans. Root against the Patriots and the Chiefs.

Ravens Week 15 Rooting Guide

Denver Broncos (5-8) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (9-4)
Sunday, Dec. 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Kansas City has an unchallenging schedule for the final three weeks of the season. Despite entering this matchup two and a half games back of the Ravens, they still hold the tiebreaker over Baltimore. The Broncos are hot, though, after winning back-to-back games over the Chargers and AFC South-leading Texans.

Ravens fans can hope Drew Lock keeps the Broncos surging. Root for the Broncos. 

A tie by the Chiefs and the Broncos would also ensure that the Ravens will place higher than the Chiefs in the standings. 

New England Patriots (10-3) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (1-12)
Sunday, Dec. 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Rooting against the Patriots is never difficult. Given that they filmed the Ravens' divisional brethren to get a leg up over a 1-12 team makes it even easier. A tie doesn't get it done here. Root for the Bengals. 

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