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3 things we learned from the Ravens 26-13 win over the Packers

3 things we learned from the Ravens 26-13 win over the Packers

BALTIMORE — In the team’s 15th preseason win in a row, the Ravens took the lead early and never ceased control as they beat the Packers 26-13 Thursday at M&T Bank Stadium.

As new Ravens made their debuts and old Ravens settled into their roles, there was plenty to take from Thursday’s win. 

Here are three notable things to learn from the Ravens latest win:

1. Tavon Young

On a night filled with nearly entirely positives, coach John Harbaugh delivered the most devastating news of the night in his postgame press conference.

Cornerback Tavon Young, originally out with an injury not thought to be serious, is now expected to be out for the remainder of the season with a neck injury. 

“Tavon [Young] has a more serious issue than we thought,” Harbaugh said. “He has a neck issue. The doctors can explain it, but that’s a disc issue. That’s a serious injury. He could be out for the remainder of the season. We will know soon, but it doesn’t look good for Tavon.”

Young was expected to fill a crucial role as a slot corner, with Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr and Jimmy Smith all expected to be in the mix as well. 

The injury to Young means that the most likely candidate to take the role of top slot corner is Cyrus Jones. 

A 2016 second-round draft pick of the New England Patriots, he figures to see significant playing time the rest of the season. 

2. Team Speed

If it wasn’t evident enough by the runs of Justice Hill, the Ravens have significant speed on their offense and defense this year. 

Quarterback Lamar Jackson’s speed was easy to spot, but with Hill figuring to see carries this season, his speed and elusiveness will cause matchup problems for opposing defenses.

“He really made some runs, didn’t he?” Harbaugh began. “He made some tough runs. He had some speed runs, too, where he accelerated, but he had some tough runs. The one on the goal line, he had one where he was hemmed up and he broke a couple tackles there for a first down. He had a good night.”

Add into that the fact that Marquise Brown will see significant targets this season and Miles Boykin is replacing Michael Crabtree on the outside, the team has boosted its speed from last season.

With Earl Thomas back at safety in place of the departed Eric Weddle, it’s clear the defense has gotten faster, too. 

3. Matthew Judon

While Matthew Judon was celebrating his birthday, he also made some newsworthy headlines across the night.

He recorded a sack, one of the team’s three on the night, he also was interviewed at halftime about what he hopes his future holds. Judon is entering the final year of his contract.

“Hopefully a contract extension with the Ravens, but we’re going to see,” Judon said. “We have a lot of stuff to prove out here, and hopefully I’m a part of this organization, this defense, for a long time to come.”

Judon’s night was a successful one, as the newly minted 27-year old was able to enjoy the win with family.

“It was good, happy birthday to myself,” he joked. “It was good. I got to be around people that love me, a lot of my brothers and also the fans. After this, I’m going to go and enjoy it with some of my teammates and my family.” 

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Former Ravens Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg denies wanting to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver

Former Ravens Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg denies wanting to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver

According to a report from former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi, former Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg wanted to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver. 

Mornhinweg, and the Ravens, claim that’s not true. 

Tuesday morning, Mornhinweg and the Ravens released a statement that claims the conversation Lombardi reported never happened. 

“That didn’t happen,” Mornhinweg responded, according to the release. “Never said that. My thoughts before the draft, and even more when we started working with Lamar, was that this young man was going to be a special quarterback. Very early we saw that along with all of his throwing and escape abilities, he reads the field as well as any young quarterback I ever worked with.”

Mornhinweg, who was the Ravens’ offensive coordinator for three years and with the organization for four, left the organization after last season ended.

The original report from Lombardi, which was on the GM Shuffle podcasts that he hosts, stated that Mornhinweg wanted to move Jackson to wide receiver. 

“Here’s what happened,” Lombardi began. “The first time he (Lamar Jackson) comes in, Marty Mornhinweg — remember, we’re building the team around him — Marty says to the coaches, this is fact, ‘When are we gonna move him to receiver?’”

Lombardi was a scout for the 49ers and Browns before working for the Eagles, Raiders, Browns (for a second time) and the Patriots. He was the general manager and VP of the Browns in 2013-14. He currently works for The Athletic.

“Organizationally, we were on the same page with Lamar, and I thought Ozzie (Newsome) and Eric (DeCosta) did a great job to take him where we did,” coach John Harbaugh added in the release. “Marty was excited from the beginning to coach Lamar and was instrumental in helping him progress through his rookie season.”

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Ravens don't have to worry about Rob Gronkowski returning for the NFL Playoffs

Ravens don't have to worry about Rob Gronkowski returning for the NFL Playoffs

Sitting atop the AFC North and East divisions at 8-2 and 9-1 respectively, the Ravens and Patriots could face each other again in January for either the divisional round or AFC championship.

One thing is for sure -- even if Baltimore has to face the Patriots in Foxborough, the Ravens will not have to worry about crafting a game plan for retired tight end Rob Gronkowski.

The five-time Pro Bowl receiver is guaranteed to be in Miami for Super Bowl LIV, but not to play football -- instead, throwing a party off the field that he calls Gronk Beach.

Gronk told ESPN that a return to playing for the NFL is "always an option in the back of my head. It's not like I'm not staying in shape and not doing anything."

"I wouldn't say 'never coming back,'" Gronk told ESPN after announcing his Gronk Beach festival, that includes performances by Diplo, Kaskade, Rick Ross and Flo Rida. "I'm feeling good, but you know, one year off could possibly be the case. Or maybe two years off, man."

Baltimore already bloodied New England 37-20, handing the Pats their first and only loss of the season thus far when they visited M&T Bank Stadium in Week 9, but both teams should almost certainly anticipate a postseason meeting. Arguably the greatest tight end in league history, Gronk knows his team could use his talents again.

"With the offense, they're finding ways to make it work like they've always done, putting guys in the right situation to make plays," Gronkowski told ESPN about watching the Patriots games closely this season. "But man, they're missing some guy who is 6-6, 260 [pounds]," referencing himself.

Baltimore, you're in the clear this year. But that's all Gronk can guarantee.

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