Ravens

NFL Capsule: Falcons at Lions

NFL Capsule: Falcons at Lions

ATLANTA (12-2) At DETROIT (4-10)

Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

OPENING LINE - Falcons by 3

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Atlanta 8-5-1; Detroit 5-9

SERIES RECORD - Lions lead 23-11

AP PRO32 RANKING - Falcons No. 5; Lions No. 28

LAST MEETING - Falcons beat Lions 23-16, Oct. 23, 2011

LAST WEEK - Falcons beat Giants 34-0; Lions lost to Cardinals 38-10.

FALCONS OFFENSE - OVERALL (7), RUSH (28), PASS (5)

FALCONS DEFENSE - OVERALL (19), RUSH (24), PASS (17)

LIONS OFFENSE - OVERALL (2), RUSH (23), PASS (1)

LIONS DEFENSE - OVERALL (12), RUSH (18), PASS (11)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Falcons can clinch home-field advantage in playoffs with win. ... Atlanta has won two straight and four of six in series. ... Detroit has lost six straight, NFL's longest active skid, to seal 10th double-digit loss season in 12 years. ... Atlanta QB Matt Ryan had season-best 142.6 rating against Giants. ... Lions QB Matthew Stafford had 37.6 rating against Cardinals, lowest since rookie year in 2009. ... Ryan surpassed own Falcons single-season records with 357 completions and 4,177 yards passing. ... Stafford, ex-Georgia star, 63 attempts from breaking NFL single-season record (691) by Drew Bledsoe. ... Falcons WR Roddy White has NFC-high 550 catches since 2007 and 1,000-plus yards receiving for sixth straight year. ... Lions WR Calvin Johnson can break NFL record, set by Charley Hennigan in 1961, matched by Michael Irvin in 1995, with eighth consecutive game with 100 yards receiving. ... Johnson, former Georgia Tech star, can surpass Jerry Rice's single-season record of 1,848 yards receiving with 182 yards in last two games. ... Falcons RB Michael Turner has scored in five straight games. ... Detroit RB Mikel Leshoure seven rushing scores in last seven games. ... Falcons DE John Abraham has four sacks in last two games against Detroit. ... Lions DE Cliff Avril and Denver's Von Miller only NFL players with at least 20 sacks and eight forced fumbles since 2011.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Adding Marcus Peters has John Harbaugh and the Ravens secondary pumped

Adding Marcus Peters has John Harbaugh and the Ravens secondary pumped

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Help is on the way for the Ravens secondary. 

With the addition of Marcus Peters, the Ravens are hopeful to boost a depleted secondary due to injuries. Tavon Young, Iman Marshall and Jimmy Smith have all missed significant time with injuries, and only Smith is set to return sooner rather than later. 

Peters, a former Pro Bowl cornerback, is what the Ravens are hoping will take their defense to a level they haven’t been at all season. 

“We’re looking forward to getting him in there,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ve known him for quite a long time, ever since the draft when he was coming out of Washington. We spent a lot of time with him in that process, and every chance we’ve had to cross paths since, it’s been very positive.”

After two seasons in Kansas City, he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams. There, he played just over a season before being traded to Baltimore. 

In his 67 games in the NFL, Peters has 24 interceptions — a league-best during that time frame — and was selected to the Pro Bowl twice and named First Team All-Pro once. 

Peters figures to slide in on the opposite side of Marlon Humphrey, who is having a Pro Bowl caliber season. 

“I think that’s a great move,” Earl Thomas said. “I think we have two top-five corners playing on the same team with him and Marlon, so it’s definitely going to help out in the back end and the whole defense.”

Included in the imminent return of Smith, presumably either for the Seahawks or Patriots game, the Ravens cornerback depth is slowly inching to healthy. 

Peters will fly to Baltimore late Wednesday and be ready for practices on Thursday and Friday. Harbaugh said he’ll play on Sunday as much as he can. The Ravens have made it a sort of habit to get players quickly acclimated to the defense in recent weeks, something they’ll try and fastrack once again with Peters. 

The move also presents flexibility for the Ravens secondary as Brandon Carr could slide back to safety, something he did during training camp.

“Let’s move around, man,” Carr said. “Let’s keep the offense on their toes, let’s be aggressive, let’s make plays, so I’m all for it.”

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Dwayne Haskins took the first-team reps in practice on Wednesday and Bill Callahan was impressed

Dwayne Haskins took the first-team reps in practice on Wednesday and Bill Callahan was impressed

While the Redskins 2019 campaign has not gone as expected, news from Wednesday's practice should give the fanbase a glimmer of hope for the future at the quarterback position.

Starting QB Case Keenum was held out of Wednesday's practice to rest his body. With Keenum absent, rookie Dwayne Haskins took all of the first-team reps. Callahan was impressed with the Ohio State product and pleased with his development.

"Dwayne took all the reps today and it’s invaluable for a backup to take starting reps," Callahan said. "Especially at the beginning of the week in terms of putting your plan together and laying it out there and making all the adjustments, whether it’s new communication, new formations, handling the shift-motion game.

"I thought he did a really good job today, so his growth is starting to show in practice and also in his preparation," Callahan continued. "He’s in earlier, he’s out later, so it’s all coming to fruition. It’s going to take a little time, but it’s good to see him take a major step today in practice."

Keenum wasn't the only veteran to be held out as practice, as running back Adrian Peterson missed Wednesday's practice, too. Interim head coach Bill Callahan held out both players simply to rest their bodies. It's not atypical for veterans to miss Wednesday practices, especially as it gets to the deeper portion of the season.

"Definitely just veteran guys, backing them down and just trying to take care of their bodies a little bit better," Callahan said of why he held them out.

When Callahan took over as interim head coach last week, many expected the team to turn to Haskins as their starting QB. At the time, Washington was 0-5, and both Keenum and Colt McCoy had been largely ineffective under center.

Although Callahan did not immediately turn to the signal-caller, he's at least given a plan of action to develop the rookie, something that was unclear while Jay Gruden was the head coach.

"He will be [the starter] at some point in time,” Callahan said on Haskins during his introductory press conference last Monday. “We’re going to continue to develop him and heighten his maturation process, try to get him on schedule so he is prepared."

Gruden had Haskins running the scout team. Even when Keenum does practice, Callahan has given the rookie at least a few reps with the starters.

"We've got to be conscientious in getting him some repetitions during the course of the practice," Callahan said last week. "So that will a little be a shift in philosophy moving forward."

When Callahan ultimately pulls the trigger to move to the rookie remains uncertain. But with Haskins improving by the day, and Keenum continuing to turn in subpar results on Sunday's, that move could come sooner rather than later.

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